First green card issued to Irish spouse of lesbian in Denver

We’d reported before the Supreme Court struck down DOMA that the first couple to receive a Green Card, should DOMA be struck down, might just be Catriona Dowling and Cathy Davis.

In fact, they were the first lesbian couple.


Here’s a release from Lavi Soloway at the DOMA Project, and below that a lovely video Lavi did with Catriona and Cathy before the DOMA ruling:

On July 3, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a
green card for Cathy Davis based on her marriage to Catriona Dowling, making
Cathy the first immigrant to become a permanent resident in the U.S. through
marriage to her same-sex spouse.

Catriona Dowling and Cathy Davis joined The DOMA Project and filed a green
card petition based on their marriage in June of 2012 to prevent their family from
being torn apart and to demand equality under the law. They were running out of options last year when the extension of Cathy’s work visa was denied. After filing
the green card petition and the application to adjust status to permanent residence,
Cathy received an employment authorization card which allowed her to work and
contribute financially to support her family. The couple was scheduled for a “green
card” interview with USCIS in Denver on January 9, 2013. They were told by the
Immigration Officer, who thoroughly reviewed their documentation, that their case
could have been approved that day if they had been a man and a woman. However,
the interviewing officer put the case on hold at the request of the couple’s attorney,
DOMA Project co-founder, Lavi Soloway, rather than issuing a denial….


Just two days later, the first “stand alone” green-card petition was approved on
June 28, 2013, for another couple working with The DOMA Project: Julian Marsh
and Traian Popov in Florida. Approval of a green card petition filed by a U.S. citizen
is the first of a two-part process through which the spouse obtains status as a
“lawful permanent resident” and receives the actual green card. (Marsh and Popov
will complete the second part and receive a green card later this year.)
Cathy and Catriona are the first same-sex couple to have a marriage-based green
card issued by USCIS. Cathy Davis will forever be the first person to have shattered
this barrier.

Coincidentally, Richard Adams and Anthony Sullivan, the first gay couple to wage
a fight against the Immigration Service were married in Boulder, Colorado, in
1975. They filed green card petition and assert that their legal marriage must be
recognized for purposes of the immigration law. Although they were unsuccessful
in their lawsuit against the Immigration Service, they are widely respected as
pioneers in the movement for marriage equality and immigration rights for lesbian
and gay binational couples. Adams and Sullivan, who lived in Los Angeles, were
together as a couple for more than 40 years until the death of Richard Adams in
December. They blazed a trail for Cathy and Catriona and inspired thousands of
others who have take up the cause of equality for LGBT families.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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