Traian “Tray” Popov, one half of a binational gay couple living in Florida, got the news late last week that he qualified for a green card, meaning the pair can now stay together in the United States, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional.
Now that their marriage is recognized by the federal government, Miami resident and popular DJ Julian Marsh can serve as a green card sponsor for his husband Popov. Until now, Tray has been living in the United States on a student visa, meaning that he could only remain in the country if he was enrolled in school.
But the couple had built a life together in the U.S. — “That’s our happy family… Tray, me and our two dogs,” Marsh told the Miami Herald — and had been holding out for the Supreme Court to strike down DOMA so that they’d live without fear that Popov would have to leave the country. The good news came on Friday, when Marsh and Popov learned not just that their green card petition had been accepted, but that theirs was the first one from a binational same-sex couple to get approved.
“We are ecstatic that our country recognizes our marriage,” Marsh said Sunday. “I never doubted the Supreme Court would not overturn DOMA. Ever. It was in my mind impossible that anybody could stop love.”
There are an estimated 24,700 same-sex binational couples in the United States who can benefit from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn DOMA. Before the decision, their stories told heartbreak: Couples like Ness Madeiros and her wife Ginger just had to wait and hope immigration reform would bring them some relief. Now, any lawful permanent resident can sponsor her wife or his husband, and assure a future together in the U.S.