Gay Couple Marry In Oklahoma, Defying State Law [Video]

A gay couple got married in Oklahoma, skirting a few laws along the way. So are they legally married? Yes, they just found a way around the usual process.

The State of Oklahoma does not legally recognize gay marriage, so how did Jason Pickel and Darren Black Bear, a gay couple, get married anyway? First off, let’s start with their first and much less successful attempt.

Back in 2009, the happy couple were ready to tie the knot and make their relationship official, and when they tried going through the sovereign nation, the DOMA law made the process impossible.

The gay couple’s marriage in Oklahoma was initially met with defeat. However, the times have changed since then.

California was among the first states in the US to legalize gay marriage after the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) was lifted, a period in which several famous celebrities such as George Takei took advantage and made their partnership legal. More and more states have opened up their legal system to allow such unions to take place, but Oklahoma is still not one of them.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin even asked the National Guard to stop processing benefits to same sex couples just this last September.

Jason Pickel and Darren Black Bear decided to give the system another try, except not through the State of Oklahoma. They went through the tribal government.

The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Tribal Court was discovered to not specify gender in their legal forms regarding marriage. However, both participants have to be of Native American heritage and live within tribal boundaries. Jason Pickel and Darren Black Bear both fall under the requirements and as such, they are allowed a marriage license and ceremony under tribal law.

With a new wave of internet support due to more and more gay celebrities coming out, the acceptance has improved. Jason Pickel even said he wasn’t expecting the tribal government to let it happen, but it did.

Darren Black Bear told the local press:

“I’m just so glad at the positive reaction people have had to this. Back in 2007, when Jason and I got denied service at a hotel in South Carolina because of our sexual orientation, the news picked up the story, and there was a lot of hate and negativity in the comments. But it really looks like things are changing now.”

Jason Pickel added, “That’s the biggest trip I’ve had so far. I’m not even sure how to even react. I’m very excited about getting married. It’s been 8 1/2 years.”

How do you feel about the gay couple getting married in Oklahoma, a state that doesn’t legally recognize it?

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