Same-sex couple marries legally under tribal law

Published: Oct. 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2013 at 2:33 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla_Two Oklahoma men are making history as they are the first publicly married same-sex couple in Oklahoma.

Jason Pickel and husband Darren Blackbear have been together 8 years. They were planning to travel to Iowa to wed because Oklahoma does not recognize same sex unions, but when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last June, Pickel had a hunch. He called the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe's courthouse and asked a simple question.

"I was expecting a big no, but I called the tribe and they said yeah, it's $20, " Pickel said.

For 20 bucks the couple got a marriage license made legal by the tribal code. The only requirements are both people be of Native American descent and live within the tribe's jurisdiction. Nowhere does it specify gender.

Due to Pickel and Blackbear's marriage, the couple is allowed to file for federal tax credits benefiting couples.

They plan on holding an open wedding celebration on Halloween.