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A big win for same-sex marriage rights in the Winnebago Tribe!

Published Wednesday, Apr. 13th, 2022

Image: Screenshot from @hugpiga viral TikTok video

Queer two-spirit TikTok activist helps overturn same-sex marriage ban with a viral video



And now for some good news! 


TikTok users just helped to overturn a same-sex marriage ban passed by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska with a viral video. Talk about the power of social media being used for good! 



Here’s how it happened: 


On April 8th, the Winnebago Tribal Council voted to ban same-sex marriage during a meeting intended to clarify nonspecific language in the tribe’s marriage laws. Tribal Council members stated that the existing law, which made no mention of gender or sex, should be changed to explicity outlaw same-sex unions. (via @hucpaga)


When news of the marriage ban reached two-spirit Winnebago native Hūcpįga, they knew they had to do something. Hūcpįga, whose English name is Tyler, posted a video on TikTok asking other users for their support. 



@hucpiga please help (he/they) #fyp #foryou #native #twospirit #lgbt #gay #trans #alternative #alt #queer #punk #indigenous #transgender #nativetiktok ♬ original sound - 𖤐 ⚥ Ⓐ


Tyler emphasized the fact that they only had 30 days to protest the ban before it became law. 


The video went viral, racking up over half a million views and thousands of comments within days. Tyler then shared a sample email that concerned users could customize to contact the Tribal Council, generating an enormous response. 


Within days, the Tribal Council held an emergency meeting to reconsider their decision, and the ban was overturned. 




Get the full scoop in Ray Monaghan’s article for




The fight for marriage equality isn’t over… 


In a time when LGBTQ+ rights are under attack in dozens of states across the country, this win for queer members of the Winnebago Tribe and their families and allies is incredible news! 


The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s initial anti-gay stance isn’t uncommon among tribal governments, unfortunately, despite a long history of acceptance toward queer and two-spirit people within native communities. Several tribes outlaw same-sex marriage on tribal land, including the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who voted to uphold their ban last year.


And legislation was introduced just this month in Tennessee, which would create an ‘alternative’ form of marriage, only available to cisgendered heterosexual couples. The bill appears to be an attempt to counter the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling in Obergefell v Hodges, which struck down all remaining state bans against same-sex marriage. 


Advocacy and activism like Tyler’s, combined with the vocal support and hands-on outreach of united communities, can do a lot to combat the unfortunate rise in anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment and legislation we’re seeing around the country. 



Stay aware, get involved, and help protect marriage equality in your community!  








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American Marriage Ministries takes an active interest in the evolving laws, conversations, philosophies, and attitudes surrounding marriage. Visit our News Page more information on marriage law, wedding industry news, and other timely events impacting wedding officiants and engaged couples.   


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