MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 2, 2013

State gay couple marry


— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)  — In a conservative state referred to as the buckle of the Bible Belt, two men legally married Thursday in a small ceremony at a chapel on an old military fort west of Oklahoma City.

Despite a gay marriage ban in the Oklahoma Constitution, Darren Black Bear, 45, and Jason Pickel, 36, wed before about 50 friends and family members at the Fort Reno chapel after being granted a marriage license from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. Black Bear is a member of the Oklahoma-based tribe, one of the few Native American tribes in the U.S. to allow same-sex marriage.

He and Pickel are the third same-sex couple to be issued a marriage license from the tribe since 2012.