Pearl, M. Alexander
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The authors discuss one of three ways that marriage equality could become the rule of law in all Indian Tribes just as it has in the United States; (1) through imposition by Congress, (2) through a federal court mandate, or (3) through the recognition of marriage equality by the tribes themselves. The article discusses each of these three alternatives highlighting the tension that frames the question of marriage equality in Indian Country: individual liberty and equality, the right to marry for everyone, and a broader iteration of tribal sovereignty. The authors posit that the tension would be best navigated through the third avenue—recognition of same-sex marriage by tribes themselves. This approach, which the authors term “indigenizing equality,” would be both efficient and have the significant positive impact of redoubling the concept that tribal communities are self-governing entities worthy of political and legal deference by the United States.