EL RENO, Okla. – The third same-sex marriage in Oklahoma happened Thursday night.
Like many weddings, family and friends gathered, flowers were in place, one groom even needed help with his tie.
But unlike other weddings in Oklahoma, this was a same-sex wedding.
After dating for nine years, Darren Black Bear & Jason Pickel Wedding were able to get married because Darren is part of the Arapaho Cheyenne tribe.
The ceremony was held in a sacred place on sovereign land on Fort Reno Post Chapel.
The couple made their way down the aisle to Darren’s father, a minister who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.
They exchanged vows, rings and then prayed for blessings from above.
While the couple was overjoyed, not everyone was celebrating.
“I find it kind of sad that this tribe is not willing to recognize what 75 percent of the voters of Oklahoma declared years ago, that marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” State Representative Sally Kern said, (R) District 84.
She said she believes this is another way to force the same-sex marriage agenda.
“Those of us who are Christians, who believe the Bible, are we going to have to give that up to satisfy the minority group that wants to redefine marriage,” Kern said.
But Kern said she is not against love.
“They can love whomever they want, there’s no laws right now that prevents two people of the same sex from living together,” Kern said.
The couple addressed the opposition.
“We heard some of the negativity but we have had far more support from people than anything else,” Pickel said.
He had advice for other couples who aren’t part of the tribe.
“I think they could go to another state, get married and spend their tax dollars there since Oklahoma doesn’t want same-sex marriage right now.”
Darren said he believes the Sooner State will one day legalize marriages like his.
“You just have to keep dreaming and hope that day will come,” he said.
After the ceremony, the couple held a reception and thanked all who supported them and anonymous venders who donated items.