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Documents are presented here chronologically, according to the date of the event referred to, or, alternatively, if such date is unknown, according to the time during which the writer traveled or lived among the people observed, or according to the document's date of composition or publication.
The intention of this arrangement is to suggest a sense of the change in types of commentators and commentary, and to begin to set both in historical perspective.
These documents on male and female homosexuality among American Indians present years of testimony from a wide variety of observers: military men, missionaries, explorers, trappers, traders, settlers, and later, medical doctors, anthropologists, and homosexual emancipationists; in a few rare instances the voices of gay Indians are heard.It was the inception of Christianity and the erasure of culture that then created the idea in Native American communities that homosexuality was wrong.“Point period: It’s wrong for anyone, whether a young person or an elder, to think LGBTQ is not traditional,” Nelson said.However, among the 567 federally recognized tribes in the United States, he and his colleagues count only 35 that recognize same-sex marriage.As marriage equality continues to gain acceptance across the country, tribal nations that refuse to recognize same sex marriages will find themselves increasingly at odds with state and federal laws, as well as popular opinion, which could present a danger to sovereignty.
The sources quoted tell as much, and often more, about the commentator's sentiments about Native homosexuality than they do about its actual historical forms.