Gawker reported yesterday that a gay couple has wed in Oklahoma due to a loophole in tribal law:
[S]ame-sex partners Jason Pickel and Darren Black Bear were able to exploit a loophole in Oklahoma law in order to become the state’s first legally married gay couple.
Despite being one of the gayest states, Oklahoma prohibits same-sex marriage in the strictest of terms, and a resolution to reaffirm the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman passed unanimously in the state’s House of Representatives earlier this year (though 16 Democrats did walk out in protest).
However, after the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme Court back in June (over Oklahoma’s objection), Pickel decided to phone up the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe’s courthouse to see if he and his partner could tie the knot.
“I was really expecting a big no,” Pickel told KOCO. “I thought we’re on our way to Iowa, but I called the tribe and they said, ‘Yeah come on down, it’s twenty bucks.'”
The tribal code states that any two people of Native American descent who live within the tribe’s jurisdiction can get a marriage license, irrespective of gender.
It’s been reported around the internet as Oklahoma’s first legal same-sex wedding, but Jim Burroway sets the record straight — this is the third time this has happened:
Lisa Liebl, spokeswoman for the tribe, said the first couple was two men who married on Dec. 12, 2012.
Liebl said there is a third couple who received a marriage license on Oct. 7.
Pickel and Black Bear were just the first who were willing to go public with their marriage plans, she said.
So there you have it. There are certain gay couples, those who meet very specific criteria, who can get married in Oklahoma.