VICTORY! Green Card Granted to Married Lesbian Couple in Colorado, Cathy Davis is the First Same-Sex Spouse to Become Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States

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Cathy & Catriona: lesbian moms raising three children in Colorado became the first same-sex couple in the U.S. to receive a marriage-based green card after their immigration interview in January this year.

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This happened, just in time for The DOMA Project participants, Cathy and Catriona, and their three beautiful children to celebrate the Fourth of July. Cathy is the first same-sex spouse to become a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States after having a marriage-based green card interview. Although their interview took place in January and could have been denied on the spot because of DOMA, the USCIS officer agreed that their case would have been approved that day if they were an opposite sex couple and she put the case on hold at the request of their attorney, DOMA Project co-founder, Lavi Soloway. Today, in an in-person meeting with officials in Denver they received unexpected good news.

Exactly one week after the Supreme Court ruling striking down DOMA, Cathy and Catriona appeared at that same USCIS office to ask why Cathy’s green card had not been approved and issued. Just before 11 a.m., the Supervisor came out to tell them that Cathy’s green card had been approved and ordered for production “one minute ago.” Unlike DOMA Project participants, Julian Marsh and Traian Popov in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who won approval of a green card petition based on their marriage on Friday, Cathy and Catriona had filed both the green card petition and green card application hoping they would be lucky enough to get to the interview before USCIS identified them as a same-sex couple. Cathy and Catriona were not issued a denial based on DOMA early in the processing of their case, unlike many other binational couples who filed similar cases as part of The DOMA Project’s three-year campaign to hold USCIS accountable for discriminating against lawfully married same-sex couples. 

As with the Florida couple, this victory confirms that DHS is prepared to recognize the legally valid marriages of lesbian and gay couples even when they live in states that do not. Cathy and Catriona were forced to travel from their home in Boulder to marry in Iowa last year because Colorado does not allow same-sex couples to marry. (Yet.)

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! We have made history again.

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This is a pro-bono project of the law firm of Masliah & Soloway, PC. Posts on this website are offered for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. The law firm of Masliah & Soloway, PC has offices in New York and Los Angeles. Our practice is limited to U.S. Immigration & Nationality Law.