The 24th Navajo Nation Council made history by passing Legislation -140-20, proclaiming the last week of June as Diné Pride Week for the largest Sovereign Nation in the United States. Sponsored by Budget and Finance Committee member Nathaniel Brown, the legislation was approved 12-9 by the Naabik’iyati Committee and then by a vote of 14-8 by the tribal council today.
Kayenta Council Delegate, Nathaniel Brown, was the champion of the legislation alongside his co-sponsors, Speaker Seth Damon and Delegate Carl Slater. Diné Equality recognizes Brown as a champion for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and two-spirit community.
Assaults are being perpetuated towards our LGBTQ community and it often goes unreported. Navajo leadership has not addressed this issue accordingly. These problems are real. It is now time that we treat our LGBTQ family members with respect and compassion. They are our relatives and Navajo law should reflect it. Diné Pride Week is about the acknowledgment of our families and our LGBTQ+ youth.
- Delegate Nate Brown | 24th Navajo Nation Council
Speaker Seth Damon acknowledged Diné Pride Week by signing a proclamation in front of the Council Chamber last month. He announced plans to review the Navajo Nation's longstanding ban on same-sex marriage and to champion LGBTQ+ rights legislation later this year with his colleagues.
The Navajo Nation Council Chamber is the People's House and all are welcome here - including our gay, lesbian, transgender, and two-spirit family members. It is now time we review Navajo law to ensure it provides necessary LGBTQ+ protections, including the final repeal of the discriminatory Diné Marriage Act. Our citizens should have the right to choose who they love and be respected and accepted here within our great Nation.
Speaker Seth Damon | 24th Navajo Nation Council
Legislation 140-20 awaits certification from the Navajo Nation government before its officially recognized next week. As the largest Indigenous LGBTQ+ celebration in the United States, Diné Pride is planning several community-focused and women-led events this year.
This is a monumental achievement that puts our Diné values into action by recognizing and honoring our Indigenous LGBTQIA+ relatives. Our ancestors and future generations will forever be grateful for the support of the Navajo Nation Council and the leadership of those who made Diné Pride Week possible.
- Josie Raphaelito | Diné Pride Program Director
We will honor our Indigenous Women who are the changemakers and matriarchs of our Sovereign Nations. The work our women in Indian Country has uplifted movements, protected our sacred knowledge, passed forth the oral tradition, and raised resilient communities.
With each historic decision that is made, it is another step closer to equality. Our Indigenous LGBTQIA+ relatives deserve to be treated with respect and fairness under tribal laws. Diné Pride is leading that movement for all our families.
- Leslie Lewinsky, Diné Pride Board Member
24th Navajo Nation Council - VOTED YES FOR PRIDE:
Amber Kanazbah Crotty
Vince R. James
Thomas Walker, Jr.
24th Navajo Nation Council - VOTED NO TO PRIDE:
Herman Daniels, Jr.
Raymond Smith. Jr.
Wilson Stewart, Jr.