The Health, Education, & Human Services Committee (HEHSC) met in Rough Rock, Arizona, today to discuss Legislation 0195-19: Supporting the Equality Act (U.S. Senate Bill #788) authorizing the Speaker of the Council, President of the Navajo Nation, and the Navajo Nation Washington Office, and it’s designees, to advocate the support of the Navajo people. The legislation passed the HEHSC with full approval by Vice Chairwoman Charilene Tso and Delegates Edison Wanueka and Paul Begay. Per committee rules, Chairman Daniel Tso could not vote through the procedure.
Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown (Kayenta, Arizona) is the legislation sponsor and a Diné Equality champion for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and two-spirit community.
The bill passed the Law and Order Committee on August 12, 2019, in Window Rock, Arizona, by a vote of 2 approve, 1 abstention, and 0 opposed. It now heads to the Naabik'iyati' Committee for consideration by the Navajo Nation Council. If passed, Legislation 0195-19 will be the official policy position of the Navajo Nation government. Additional LGBTQ+ inclusive legislation is being sponsored by several lawmakers to be considered by the Council by the end of 2019.
“Assaults are being perpetuated towards our LGBTQ community & it often goes unreported. Navajo leadership has not addressed this issue accordingly. These problems are real. It is now time that we treat our LGBTQ family members with respect & compassion. They are our relatives & Navajo law should reflect it.”
“As one of only three women represented on the Navajo Nation Council, you will have me as a champion for our LGBTQ+ community members. From our children to our grandparents, we are all connected. Our traditional teachings provide us guidance on how we approach difficult issues. LGBTQ+ equality means fairness & compassion for all our people, so they can be who they are - free from hatred & discrimination.”
Read the legislation here: http://www.navajonationcouncil.org/Legislations/2019/JUL/