Robert Clinton, Foundation Professor of Law, recently was quoted in an article about a Native American gay wedding written by Mark Joseph Stern for Slate magazine.
The article, “How Did a Gay Couple Legally Marry in Oklahoma?” tells the story of two Native American men who were wed under tribal law in a state where same-sex marriage remains formally banned.
Concerning whether the marriage will be recognized by the state of Oklahoma, Clinton said the current patchwork of marriage laws presents an intriguing ambiguity. He said that as a general rule, every state grants respects other states’ laws and rulings, but added that in 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a state’s right to ignore another state’s law if it seriously contravened its own—the so-called public-policy exception.
“The public-policy exception has never been litigated in application to gay marriage, but it seems possible that tribal gay marriages should be recognized in most states that don’t have strong public policy to the contrary,” Clinton said.
To read the full article, click here.
Clinton teaches and writes about federal Indian law, tribal law, Native American history, constitutional law, federal courts, cyberspace law, copyrights and civil procedure. He is an Affiliated Faculty member of the ASU American Indian Studies Program. He also is a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Law, Science & Innovation.