A gay binational couple from Fort Lauderdale is reportedly the first in the country in which the foreign partner has been approved for legal residence in the U.S, following the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.
According to the DOMA Project, a group of activists fighting to bring equality for gay binationals, Julian Marsh and Traian Povov received the notice of approval for a green card from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services just two days after the SCOTUS ruling. The couple announce the news on June 29.
“The approval of this petition demonstrates that the Obama administration’s commitment to recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples nationwide is now a reality on the ground, just two days after the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down DOMA,” Lavi Soloway, attorney and co-founder of the DOMA Project said in a statement.
Popov, who has been in the U.S. since 1998 and was born in Bulgaria. Marsh, a DJ and music producer, is a U.S citizen. The two met in Florida and got married in October 2012 in Brooklyn, New York, as Florida does not allow gay marriages.
“I met him, I fell in love, and that was it,” Marsh said.
Under the DOMA, a federal law which defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman, married gay U.S. citizens could not petition their foreign-born partners for legal stay in the country, a right that was given to straight couples. But everything changed on June 26, after the Supreme Court repealed a portion of the law.
Following the historic ruling, a New York City judge also halted the deportation of a gay Colombian man married to a U.S. citizen.
“We expect additional approvals of green card petitions in the coming days,” Soloway said.