Gay couple marries in tribal court - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Gay couple marries in tribal court


Danny Hossler and Enrico Perez were all smiles as they walked out of the Pokagon Tribal Courthouse in Dowagiac, Michigan Thursday to a shower of blue rose petals. Hossler said they were the first gay couple to be married via the Tribal Court.

The couple was very excited the moment had come. "I'm high off the world right now.  It's amazing," Perez said. Hossler said, "It means the world to me.  That's us right there, that's our life together."

Being part of a same sex couple, Hossler and Perez say they weren't sure this day would ever come.

On March 9th the Pokagon Band Tribal Council voted to pass a marriage code that allows same sex marriage.  According to the Tribal Court, in the enacted code, "marriage is defined as a civil contract between two persons, regardless of their sex, creating a union excluding all others."

Hossler and Perez said as soon as they found out they could legally wed they started making plans.  Hossler is a member of the Pokagon Band.

Gay marriage is still not legal in the state of Michigan. In fact, it's only legal in twelve states, Washington D.C. and among a few Native American tribes, which now includes the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.

The couple met at a birthday party three years ago and began dating.  Hossler proposed to Perez February 14th, before the new marriage code was passed by the Pokagon Band Tribal Council.

Now that the two are officially married Hossler said he will be changing his last name to Perez.

The two are very excited to finally be married.  But Hossler said while he's happy, he's also sad because not all of his friends can legally get married yet.  The couple said they hope soon everyone will be able to marry legally.

Tabitha Heft, a member of the wedding party said, "This is a choice that everyone should be willing and able to make."

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