New Mexico has seen celebrations across the state since its highest court 10 days ago unanimously ruled it was unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to same-sex couples. Not so for the sovereign Navajo Nation, whose borders spill over into the northeast part of the state and where tribal law is clear: Such unions are banned.
Some Navajo hope to change that, buoyed by the cultural climate shift underscored when the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Gay marriage is permitted in the District of Columbia and 18 states, the most recent being Utah, although officials there plan to appeal a federal court decision that overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
For Navajo activists, it won't be easy.