The tribal council of the 4,600-member Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians approved the measure March 3 on a 5-4 vote.
Chairman Dexter McNamara signed the bill at 10 a.m. yesterday at the tribal government building in Harbor Springs before marrying Tim LaCroix, 53, and Gene Barfield, 60. The couple met 30 years ago when they were both stationed at Orlando's Naval Training Center.
McNamara read the vows in English and a tribal member then conducted a marriage ceremony in the tribe's native tongue.
"How could the world be better? How could the world be better? … I'm just full of joy and happiness and I love my husband," Barfield said. "We’re so unbelievably grateful to the tribe and so full of respect for their position in this.”
At least two other U.S. Indian tribes recognize marriage equaity.