First marriage-based green card awarded to lesbian couple

Thu. July 4, 2013 6:58 AM by Wisconsin Gazette

Two women raising three children in Colorado became the first same-sex couple in the United States to receive a marriage-based green card after their immigration interview earlier this year.

The couple, Cathy Davis and Catriona Dowling, learned the news on July 3, according to The DOMA Project, which provided the spouses with legal representation through the complicated immigration process.

Davis, who is from Dublin, Ireland, is the first same-sex spouse to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States in a post-DOMA nation. In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the provision in the federal law that barred immigration services and other agencies of the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages.

A week later, Davis received news in Denver that her green card was being produced.

Two days after the DOMA decision, a binational gay couple in Florida learned that the government had approved their green card petition.

The victories, according to The DOMA Project, confirm "that the Department of Homeland Security 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."

The women met in 2006 while mountain climbing in the Himalayas.

They married in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 2012.

Article provided in partnership with Wisconsin Gazette.