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Indian country torn over gay marriage

Source: 
Kansas City Star
Author: 
Rob Hotakainen
Date: 
Friday, May 10, 2013

A national news article discussing the conflict surrounding gay marriage amongst Indian tribes featured commentary from Elizabeth Kronk, professor of law.

Hotakainen wrote:

Scholars note that before their introduction to Christianity, many tribes accepted their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members as “two spirits,” even giving them added respect because they were thought to have special powers.

Consequently, they say, same-sex marriage is easier for many tribal members to accept, though it still kicks up plenty of controversy.

“The debate in Indian country is very similar to the debate in the United States, in that you have strong feelings going both ways,” said Elizabeth Ann Kronk, the director of the Tribal Law and Government Center at the University of Kansas School of Law and a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Michigan. “What you see in Indian country is this struggle between the historical accepting of the two-spirit individuals versus the relatively new but yet very strong Christian influences.”