The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) being struck down on June 26 had a greater impact for a same-sex married couple living in Florida. As reported by ABC news on July 1, 41-year-old Traian Popov, a Bugarian immigrant received great news on Friday evening when Popov and his husband 55-year-old Julian Marsh received approval for their green card.
Under DOMA, binational couples were not able to sponsor a spouse on a visa and just two days after the federal law which banned same-sex couples from receiving the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples, Popov and Marsh received news that both described as like “winning the lottery”.
Marsh told the New York Times:
“The amazing overwhelming fact is that the government said yes, and my husband and I can live in the country we chose and we love and want to stay in.”
In ways it was like a lottery as the couple is one of more than 28,500 binational couples living in the United States and one of almost 100 applications filed by the DOMA Project. Now both can live in the country with the freedom to continue to build a family through love and also financially.
Before DOMA was overturned, it was tougher for immigrant partners to obtain work visas which caused their partners to move overseas. The only other option was to stay in the country and risk deportation. For Popov and Marsh, life is definitely now less stressful.
More importantly the green card approval reflects the impact of the Supreme Court striking down DOMA and evidence that the ruling will give equal recognition to gay couple who are legally married in all 50 states.