An Arizona tribal court has ruled that
gay and lesbian couples have a fundamental right to marry.
The court's ruling paves the way for
gay couples to marry on the Ak-Chin reservation.
According to the
AP, the court found that under the Ak-Chin community's
constitution and the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 gay couples have
a fundamental right to marry.
Attorney Sonia Martinez, who
represented the plaintiffs in the case, said that the ruling could
have repercussions for other Native American tribes.
“This decision made it clear that the
tribal law was unconstitutional under tribal law,” Martinez said.
“I have no idea if other tribes are going to do the same thing, but
I think it at least opens the door.”
Ak-Chin Indian Community Chairman
Robert Miguel said that the tribe will comply with the ruling.
Plaintiffs in the case are Cleo Pablo,
who grew up on the Phoenix-area reservation, and Tara Roy-Pablo. The
couple, who married in 2015 shortly after the Supreme Court struck
down state marriage bans, sued to have their marriage recognized on
“You're taught growing up that you
have to stand up for what's right,” Pablo said. “I actually did