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An American Indian tribe in northern Michigan approved same-sex marriage Friday, becoming at least the third tribe nationwide to do so and immediately wedding a gay couple who had been together for 30 years. Dexter McNamara, tribal chairman for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, signed the marriage measure after his tribal council approved it by a 5-4 vote, after the council had rejected it just last year. "I started thinking about it, and that’s when I decided that, you know, we all deserve to be happy," McNamara said of his decision to support the measure, "and everybody is happy in different ways, they show their love in different ways, and I decided to sign it." Following his decision, he promptly wed Tim LaCroix, 53, and Gene Barfield, 60, of Boyne City, Mich. Although same-sex marriage is officially banned in Michigan, the tribe hopes that its approval will bring the state and the country one step closer to acceptance.
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