Dr. Jennifer Nez Denetdale
“You could probably ask 10 different Navajo medicine people and get 10 different answers. What's important is the recognition of multiple genders in Navajo society. The Diné Marriage Act is a violation of human rights and Navajo civil rights.”
~ DR. JENNIFER NEZ DENETDALE
University of New Mexico
"The Navajo people have a history of accepting LGBT individuals into traditional society. Our culture is based on oral tradition—human and natural creation stories passed on from generation to generation. These stories include nádleeh, a male-bodied woman or a manly female. In the Navajo creation story, when men and women separated because of a domestic dispute, nádleeh served as caregivers to the men. Today, LGBT Navajos still serve similar functions in their families."
~ SHERRICK ROANHORSE
Former Chief of Staff | The Navajo Nation
“This fight is for my partner Brennen & our families. It’s also for the future of so many other same-sex Navajo couples who only want to be treated with fairness & respect by the Navajo government. We both have taken a vow to never marry until we can do it on the Navajo Nation. It is our home too.
~ ALRAY NELSON
Lead Organizer | Coalition for Navajo Equality
Board of Director | Equality New Mexico
"I question the support the transgender community gets on the Navajo Nation. We are just like everybody else. We function in society & we are just who we are. I want our trans relatives to know they are loved & are thought about. The love is there."
~ MATTEE JIM
HIV Prevention & Support Services Coordinator
First Nations Community HealthSource
"We need to embrace the acceptance & understanding that are core values instilled in native people... Living in balance or living well is also affected by HIV & AIDS and we need to be able to understand this because it can affect us."
~ ELTON NASWOOD
Senior Program Analyst
Office of Minority Health Resource Center
"While these rulings signal the beginning of the end of official discrimination against lesbians and gay men, we still have work to do in New Mexico. Our path to win the freedom to marry is through the courts, but we have to ensure that path is clear cut and championed by the thousands of New Mexicans who believe in fairness and respect. The Why Marriage Matters New Mexico campaign seeks to change hearts and minds across the state, and its success will be a testament to the engagement of our community and allies."
~ AMBER ROYSTER
Executive Director | Equality New Mexico
President Joe Shirley, Jr.
"The Dine' Marriage Act legislation is unnecessary and addresses issues already governed by existing law and by cultural values and our clan system. The legislation veiled a discriminatory aspect in the guise of family values, which goes against the Navajo teaching of non-discrimination and doing no psychological or physical harm. To do otherwise is to allow the Navajo government to unnecessarily intrude and interfere into private, personal lives.''
~ THE HONORABLE JOE SHIRLEY, JR.
Navajo Nation President, 2003-2011
President Shirley vetoed the Dine' Marriage Act of 2005 & continues to make public statements of his support for same-sex marriages on the Navajo Nation.