Leech Lake Native American Tribe of Minnesota Weds First Gay Couple

Wooley and Dahl

Fifteen years after meeting each other in an Oregon bar, decades of debating whether to marry or not, having plans shattered by California's Prop 8, and spending 2 years fighting for their right to marry on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, Arnold Dahl and Matthew Wooley finally tied the knot.

It was the first same-sex marriage on the Minnesota reservation.

After returning to the reservation 10 years ago to visit Arnold's father, the couple decided to stay and purchased and renovated the Lake Winnibigoshish General Store, which was owned by Arnold's family. They are now the proprietors and hope to set a positive example for others, particularly after receiving some backlash from community members who disapproved of their relationship. Arnold was raised on the reservation and remembers having few role models to look up to and seek advice from. He hopes that he and his husband can make a difference and break down barriers in their community just by being who they are.