The decision is effective immediately.
Stephanie Marie Anderson

13 Dec 2016 - 11:52 AM  UPDATED 13 Dec 2016 - 11:52 AM

Todd Hembree, the attorney general of the Cherokee Nation, has announced that the tribe will recognise same-sex marriage from now on.

This decision overturns a ruling from 2004, which defined marriage as between one man and one woman, with Hembree telling CNN that the act is "unconstitutional".

The new ruling - which became effective immediately - came after an enquiry from the Cherokee Tax Commission. A woman seeking identification from the tribe had recently married another woman, and the Tax Commission was unsure whether this marriage would be recognised by them.

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“The constitution affords these rights to all Cherokee citizens, regardless of sexual orientation and the Cherokee Nation, or any subdivision, must recognise validly issued civil unions, same-sex marriages, and same-sex domestic partnerships from other jurisdictions," Hembree told CNN.

The Cherokee Nation was not bound by the U.S Supreme Court's 2015 marriage equality ruling. While Hembree's decision is now in effect, it may still be challenged by other Cherokee officials, and several other tribes still do not recognise same-sex marriage.

Primarily located in Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation is the largest sovereign tribal group in the US and have over 300,000 people who make up the nation.