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This Article focuses on the reasons for state and federal recognition of Native American polygamous unions and the implications of states’ recognition of these unions for the validity of same-sex marriages across state lines. It discusses some historical Native American domestic relations practices and explains why states recognized certain Native American marital unions that would not have been recognized had they been celebrated locally. This Article also analyzes the significance of the recognition of these unions for the debate surrounding recognition of same-sex unions. The historical treatment of Native American polygamous unions suggests Congress has the power to assure that same-sex couples have the same rights and protections as do different-sex couples as long as their marriages were valid in the domicile at the time of celebration.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
7 Sep 2022
211 kB



  • Subject
    • Domestic Law

    • Indigenous Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Third World Law Journal

  • Volume
    • 30

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Pagination
    • 207

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022