Navajo Nation passes legislation supporting the Equality Act, Affirms LGBTQ+ Community

September 5, 2019

 

History was made today on the largest Sovereign Nation in the United States for the Navajo LGBTQ+ community. Members of the 24th Navajo Nation, through official action of the Naabik'iyati' Committee, voted 16 in favor and 0 opposed to pass Legislation 0195-19 to support the Equality Act of 2019.

This new law now authorizes the Speaker of the Council, President of the Navajo Nation, and the Navajo Nation Washington Office, and it’s designees, to advocate its support of the comprehensive LGBTQ+ legislation to the United States Congress.

“The Navajo Nation should be proud today for this historic action taken by our tribal lawmakers. It sends an inclusive message to our LGBTQ+ youth that their Nation is inclusive and they should be proud to be who they are. It is now time that we repeal the discriminatory Diné Marriage Act and treat our LGBTQ+ family members with respect and compassion. They are our relatives & Navajo law should reflect it.”

- Alray Nelson, Diné Pride Executive Director

Kayenta Council Delegate, Nathaniel Brown, was the legislation sponsor and is a Diné Equality champion for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and two-spirit community.

“When speaking of kinship & relationship to each other, Navajo speaks of compassion & respect. The Equality Act is a giant step in allowing LGBTQ+ communities to be free from discrimination, to be protected from injurious practices & to achieve the full pursuit of happiness as citizens of our Sovereign Nation.”

- Councilman Nathaniel Brown

Legislation 0195-19 is now 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 2020.    

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