Lesbian couple speaks out on Oglala Sioux Tribe same-sex marriage ruling

Monique "Muffie" Mousseau (left) and Felipa De Leon (right) at Canyon Lake...
Monique "Muffie" Mousseau (left) and Felipa De Leon (right) at Canyon Lake Park in Rapid City. (KEVN) (KEVN)
Published: Jul. 20, 2019 at 7:43 PM MDT
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The Oglala Sioux Tribe says they're making history by becoming the first tribe in South Dakota to legalize same-sex marriage.

In June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, but that federal ruling did not apply to the Lakota, Nakota, or Dakota tribes, also known as Oceti Sakowin tribes of South Dakota.

Earlier in July in a 12 to 3 vote, the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council passed a same-sex marriage ordinance.

Felipa De Leon and Monique "Muffie" Mousseau helped bring forward the same-sex marriage law, and they say those "yes" votes helped change the lives of the next generation.

"It was awesome. It was like, 'We did it. We finally did it,'" said Felipa De Leon.

Four years ago, De Leon and Mousseau wanted to get married where they grew up on the Pine Ridge reservation, but when they found out they couldn't get married there, the pair instead opted to tie the knot at Mount Rushmore.

And Mousseau says life as an openly gay couple was not always smooth sailing.

"I had my tires blown out. All my windows smashed on my brand new car and I had "faggot" written on the side of my house in spray paint." said Mousseau.

Despite the pain and hate they endured, Mousseau says she and her wife realize they're paving the way for the future generations of LGBT Natives.

"We're not here to condemn anybody. We're not here to make anybody feel bad about what happened to us. We are hoping to go forward in a positive manner and stop the negativity and the homophobia," said Mousseau.

Now that same-sex marriage is legal within the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Muffie and Felipa say they're looking forward to getting married on their homeland.