‘The New Normal Has Arrived’

This piece was first published in The Times of Israel.

Traian Popov (left) and Julian Marsh. Marsh is the first married gay American to successfully petition for a green card for his spouse. (photo credit: Courtesy of the DOMA Project/Dennis Dean)

Traian Popov (left) and Julian Marsh. Marsh is the first married gay American to successfully petition for a green card for his spouse. (photo credit: Courtesy of the DOMA Project/Dennis Dean)

Just two days after the US Supreme Court’s historic decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the first bi-national married gay couple received approval for a green card petition. Last Friday, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agreed to allow Julian Marsh to sponsor his Bulgarian husband, Traian Popov, for US residency.

Marsh and Popov are participants in the DOMA Project, an immigration advocacy and legal assistance program for gay and lesbian bi-national couples founded by Jewish attorney Lavi Soloway and his law partner Noemi Masliah. With Soloway’s help, Marsh, a US citizen, filed a marriage-based residency petition on behalf of Popov last February.

Soloway had predicted things would change quickly for his clients after the Supreme Court struck down DOMA, a law that prohibited the federal government from recognizing marriages of same-sex couples for all purposes, including immigration benefits, as a violation of the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.

“I expect an immediate effect,” he told The Times of Israel immediately after the decision was announced.

Click here to read more.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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