June 10, 2013

Odawa gay couple invited to White House

Michigan's first gay couple, married by Odawa tribe, invited to White House

By Brandon HubbardIt was a sprint down the aisle for Boyne City's Gene Barfield and Tim LaCroix to become the first same-sex couple to wed when the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians amended their definition of marriage.

Now, it will be a dash Thursday to the White House.

An invitation from the president of the United States arrived last week asking the newlyweds to attend a Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month reception at the White House.
And:"The invitation states that the reception is to mark 'LGBT Pride Month,'" Barfield said. "It's from the president of the United States. This is the same United States that spent a small fortune trying to do its best to throw me out of the Navy in 1981 because I'm gay. The same United States in which I stopped counting after the 400th person I knew died from AIDS while nearly everyone but the gay community and our friends stood by and did nothing, or worse. The same United States where George W. Bush bragged about how much of our money he was spending to fight AIDS--in Africa--while cutting funding for AIDS programs here at home. The same United States where too many people still believe that Tim and I getting married is a bad joke."

Both men rushed to the altar in March to be married after more than 30 years together wanting to marry. Because Michigan voters amended the state constitution in 2008 to define marriage as between one man and one woman, it would not have happened until the Odawa Tribal Council and tribal chairman passed an amendment to redefine marriage, following more than a year debating the revision, which made it the first tribe in Michigan to allow such unions and only the third in the nation.
Comment:  Again, the Odawa were only the third tribe to legalize gay marriage, not the first. Rest assured that I'm not going to post about every gay marriage among Indians. But this story is significant because of the White House invitation. It shows how mainstream gay marriage is becoming.

For more on gay marriage, see Wes Studi Supports Gay Marriage and Fictional Characters Make Acceptance Easier.

Below:  "Tim LaCroix, left, and Gene Barfield marry in a traditional Odawa wedding ceremony March 15 at the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Tribal Government Center in Little Traverse Township." (Brandon Hubbard/News-Review)


dmarks said...

Looking, I'm finding evidence that Bush spent a lot of money on AIDS domestically.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, two of the biggest concerns in AIDS are budget and memespace. Memespace is particularly dangerous because a lot of modalities, proven or otherwise, can compete in the meme pool with "abstain, be faithful, use condoms, or die". I mean, one of the biggest issues in Africa is that those modalities (especially the "AIDS isn't real, take your vitamins" modality) end up winning. (And that's no different than the antivaccine movement: We have the British Medical Journal, JAMA, Pediatrics, and the Lancet; they have Oprah!)

I remember an epidemiologic study a few years back saying Indian youth were more likely to "experiment", but I don't know how true it is. I can say that among the Sioux, homophobia wasn't really a thing. There were taboos regulating homosexuality, but there are taboos regulating heterosexuality too, so really...