- The Washington Times - Monday, July 1, 2013

Two days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defined marriage as a union of male and female only, more history was made: A gay couple in Florida became the first to see their green card petition approved, a lawyer for the pair said.

Bulgarian graduate student Traian Popov — in American on a student visa — and his American partner, Julian Marsh, were married in New York, The Associated Press reported.

They now live in Florida, where their marriage isn’t legal. But while they battle that front — the court ruling only extended federal benefits to gays living in states that already sanction same-sex marriage — they won big on the immigration front.

The DOMA Project, a group that fights to keep gay couples from being separated by deportation, said Mr. Popov was awarded his green card on Friday, AP said.


He will have to wait six months for the process to wrap. But in the meantime, he’s the first in a same-sex union situation in the nation to get his green card, since the Supreme Court ruled on DOMA.

“I started crying,” said attorney and DOMA Project co-founder Lavi Soloway, after learning his clients could stay together, AP reported.

Mr. Marsh, meanwhile says the court ruling and green card permit has left them feeling vindicated and less like a “second-class citizen,” AP said.

“It’s overwhelming,” Mr. Marsh said. “We would like to make a difference in Florida.”