A gay couple’s green card approval is the first of its kind in United States history. The couple received notice of the green card on Friday, two days after the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.
The application was filed by Julian Marsh and Traian Povov. Marsh is a US Citizen, but his husband, Povov, is from Bulgaria. The couple filed for a green card ahead of the court’s ruling.
The DOMA Project’s lawyers represent them and announced the news of the green card approval on Saturday morning. The group called it “the first time in U.S. history a marriage-based green card petition filed by a gay couple has been approved.”
While there have been several green card petitions like the one Marsh filed for Povov, they were previously denied. However, the Obama administration has avoided ruling on them in the past several months as the challenges to section 3 of DOMA made their way to the Supreme Court.
The couple’s lawyer, Lavi Soloway, who is also a founder of The DOMA Project, told BuzzFeed on Saturday:
“The approval of this petition demonstrates that the Obama administration’s commitment to recognizing same-sex couples’ marriages after the Supreme Court ruling is now a reality on the ground.”
Soloway added that additional green card approvals for same-sex couples are expected to follow. Soloway added that he considers it symbolic that the first green card petition approval for a gay couple was in Florida. The state currently has a ban on same-sex marriage. He explained:
“This shows the effect of the DOMA ruling for immigration purposes will extend to couples, no matter where they live, so long as they have a valid marriage license.”
And the couple does. They were married in New York in October 2012, because of Florida’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The petition was approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There is no word on how many other same-sex marriage green card petitions are currently waiting approval.
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