First Green Card Approved For Gay Spouse

Well, that didn’t take long. Two days after the Supreme Court ruling striking down DOMA, the husband of a gay American citizen was notified that he has been approved for a green card. Traian Popov, a Bulgarian immigrant, married Julian Marsh in New York City last October. Julian filed for a petition for the green card last February. But when the notice of the green card arrived on Friday, the couple could hardly believe it.

“It was just kind of a shock, like winning the lottery,” Marsh told The New York TimesTraian has been living in the U.S. legally for 15 years, on a series of student visas. He has finished three master’s degrees and is currently working toward  a doctorate in social science. The couple currently reside in Fort Lauderdale.

The move is a shock for another reason. The approval is a clear signal that the Obama Administration isn’t interested in the geography of the married couples. “It is symbolically important that the first gay couple to receive approval of their green card petition live in Florida, a state that has a constitutional ban preventing same-sex couples from marrying,” Lavi Soloway, co-founder of the DOMA Project, noted. Soloway also suggested that Traian’s green card is a poke in the eye of Sen. Marco Rubio, who had threatened to kill immigration reform if it offered protections to same-sex bi-national couples. If that’s the case, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Photo credit: DOMA Project