Eastern Band Of Cherokee Same-Sex Marriage Ban Stands

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee will not officially recognize same-sex marriages on the Qualla Boundary. BPR was at Thursday’s tribal council meeting when the vote was taken… “Still determined. Resolve is still there.” That’s Tamara Thompson after the vote. She’s the Big Cove resident who brought forward the resolution to update the marriage section of the Cherokee Code, which currently defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Thompson and the Eastern Band Attorney General’s office argued that language is inherently discriminatory and could impact federal funding, current marriage licenses and other issues. Here’s Attorney General Mike McConnell, who says $60 million in federal funding the Eastern Band gets could be at risk. “All of those grants and most of those contracts have boilerplate language about ‘the tribe will not discriminate and violate federal law,” said McConnell. He continued, “That’s not something I want to risk.” Principal Chief Richard Sneed put forward a “neutral”

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