An American man in Florida and his husband, who is from Bulgaria, have become the first same-sex married couple to be approved for a permanent resident visa, an immigration milestone that comes after the Supreme Court struck down a federal law against same-sex marriage.
The notice of approval of a permanent visa, known as a green card, was issued by e-mail late Friday to Traian Popov, a Bulgarian immigrant who lives with his American spouse, Julian Marsh, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The approval was evidence that the Obama administration was acting swiftly to change its visa policies in the wake of the court’s decision on Wednesday invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.
The approval came so fast that it took the couple’s immigration lawyer, Lavi Soloway, by surprise. Mr. Soloway, who represents many same-sex couples, said he received the official message while he was attending the annual conference in San Francisco of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
“I thought, ‘Am I reading this wrong?’ ” Mr. Soloway said in an interview on Saturday. Although it was a professional setting, he said, he began to weep with emotion when he realized the significance of the notice.
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