A tribal council in Washington has voted unanimously to legalize same-sex marriage.
The Suquamish Tribe of Port Madison Indian Reservation, Wash. voted to allow same-sex marriages on tribal land.
Heather Purser, a member of the tribe, told The Seattle Times that she had been campaigning to get the law changed for years.
Purser, 28, is a lesbian who came out while at Washington State University and said she felt isolated by her tribal community.
She was raised off the reservation in Kitsap County, Wash. and now lives in Seattle, where she works as a commercial driver.
"When I came out I felt even more isolated from the world, and decided if I could get my people to support me and allow gay marriage, maybe the hurt would go away," Purser told The Seattle Times.
Her early efforts -- shortly after she came out -- to put same-sex marriage on the tribal constitution were frustrated and ultimately abandoned.
But then Purser moved to Seattle where she met someone "incredible."
She brought the issue up again at a tribal meeting in March, and the resulting vote was unanimously in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. After a public hearing was held in June, the tribal council unanimously adopted the new ordinance.
"I was expecting a major fight. I didn't think anyone would support me," Purser told the Kistap Sun.
The ordinance allows a couple to obtain a marriage license, regardless of gender, as long as they are both 18 and one is an enrolled member of the Suquamish Tribe.
Purser has no immediate plans to marry, but wanted to reserve the right for the future.
"People keep asking me when the wedding is," she told The Seattle Times. "I'm in a committed relationship right now, and it could lead to marriage."
Purser told that Kitsap Sun that she hopes the new ordinance will encourage gay tribe members to be more open about their sexual orientation.