“Its the biggest trip I’ve found so far,” Jason Pickel told KOCO TV News yesterday after announcing his legal marriage to his long time boyfriend Darren Blackbear.
But OK put in place a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage back in 2004 – with a margin of 76%, the state is not exactly pro-gay marriage. So How did the couple get a legal marriage without leaving the state?
Pickle and Blackbear are both of Native American decent – and while the state may put up all the bans against equal marriage they please, Native American tribe law and land follows only their laws and federal laws – not state. While Pickel had considered going to near-by Iowa to get married, he thought giving his tribal court a chance might be a good idea.
“I called the Court and they said ‘yea! Come on down!’” said Pickel. And with 50$ and a short drive, the two were legally wed. Now they wont get the same rights as other legally married couples in OK, but they will be able to file as a couple on their tax returns and gain the many other federal benefits they are entitled to after section 3 of DOMA was struck down this past summer.
The couple has a wedding Ceremony Scheduled for Halloween.