Sacramento USCIS Approves Green Card for Lesbian Couple, Ending 7 Years of Separation and Visits between US & UK

In the fall of 2010, as early participants of The DOMA Project’s advocacy campaign aimed at empowering binational couples and educating others about the harmful impact of DOMA on our families, Carrie and Claire shared this moving account of their history together. It was extremely important to our campaign to share their story of forced separation, particularly given their September 2007 wedding in Vancouver, and the fact that Carrie’s teen-aged daughter was deprived of the presence of her stepmother as she went through her adolescence to young adulthood. Carrie and Claire shared the incredible challenges they faced maintaining a long-distance relationship between the UK and the US, even though they were married, being relegated to short visits over a seven-year period. DOMA Project founder, attorney Lavi Soloway, could hardly hold back the tears when the officer indicated on Monday at the interview in Sacramento that their case would be approved and that they would never be forced to part ways at an airport again. We were all beaming after we left the interview, though I think we were also in shock that it was finally real and that all we had worked for was bringing closure to yet one more family.

Then in 2013, Carrie and Claire decided to join more than 50 other couples in a challenge to the administration to stop denying green card petitions based on DOMA. This turned out to be an very effective tool in our public education effort in the last six months of DOMA’s existence, increasing the visibility of the harm caused by DOMA to binational couples, maintaining media interest as reporting on DOMA and Marriage Equality reached an all-time high around the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases. They were a tremendous inspiration to other couples and helped build this mutually supportive and a diverse movement for change that continues to fight for an end to the legacy of DOMA. We congratulate and thank Carrie and Claire for all their effort, determination and courage!

Long Island, NY: Lesbian Couple Celebrates Green Card, Their Future Together in the US Finally Secure

Gay Florida couple together 10 years, fought DOMA deportation, win green card petition approval.

Donald and Arthur joined The DOMA Project in May 2011, sharing their story as they fought deportation proceedings. Read more here:

The DOMA Project congratulates binational couple activists, Enzo and Andres, on receiving their green card!

History-Making Lesbian Couple That Stopped 2010 DOMA Deportation, Finally Receives Green Card

Green Card Arrives for Gay Couple In New York!

San Francisco: Green Card Approved for Lesbian Couple 28 Years After They First Met

Six weeks before the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor that struck down Section 3 of DOMA and paved the lesbian and gay Americans to file green card and fiancee petitions, Mindi and Bev submitted this touching story to The DOMA Project as part of our effort to defeat DOMA and its legacy in the Court of Public Opinion. If you did not read the story back in May, you should read it now. Their story epitomizes everything that we have worked for, and reminds us how much we have collectively sacrificed because we were not able to marry and have our marriages recognized under federal law. Read it here:

After 10 years together, Joy & Lujza are the first married lesbian couple in Kentucky to be granted a green card

Together for 32 Years, Gay Couple in France Wins Approval of 2011 Green Card Petition

Lavi Soloway, Masliah & Soloway, PC, Founder, The DOMA Project writes:

"Robert and Kent inspired me to write this essay for The Advocate in June 2011 (Read: that tells of their excruciatingly difficult decision to leave the U.S. in 2010, after living here for most of the preceding three decades. I encourage everyone to read it. Robert and Kent were an important part of The DOMA Project work as we expanded beyond deportation cases to focus on exiled and separated gay couples. Theirs is a story of enduring love and commitment that, like so many other binational couples, held them together as we struggled to defeat DOMA and protect our families. With your help, we will now continue the fight against the legacy of DOMA to bring them home to Florida.”

USCIS approves fiancé visa petitions for Jesse & Max and five other DOMA Project couples 

Jesse’s mother joined The DOMA Project’s advocacy right from the beginning in 2010. She fought for both Jesse and Max and their right to be together in this country after they were forced into exile by Max’s expiring visa: 

Jesse’s sister wrote, “Let Jesse & Max Come Back” in 2011 proving that DOMA was tearing apart American families, impacting more than just gay binational couples: 

Jesse wrote in his inaugural post on The DOMA Project website in 2010, “I never imagined that what began as a typical night out on the town in Manhattan would mark the beginning of a most amazing journey with the love of my life. … Max and I have never stopped yearning to return to New York. We cannot come back to the U.S. and live as unequal, unrecognized and marginalized human beings. We do want to come back but we want to live in New York legally recognized as a couple. We now live in a country, the U.K., that grants gay and lesbian couples legal status, but this is not our home. As the current law stands, the United States cannot be our home either. 

This point always hits me the hardest when we arrive in the U.S. for a visit and we face the dreaded customs and immigration clearance. At that point we must separate and enter the United States through two different lines: citizens and non-citizens. I wait for Max to re-appear on the other side, never forgetting that he does not have the same right as I do to enter the United States. A small part of me fears that for some reason he may be held back and not permitted to enter. It is in these moments that everything becomes crystal clear to me: we must fight this injustice for all couples struggling to be together who may not be as fortunate as Max and I to have found a temporary refuge in exile. 

Max and I joined this campaign because we want to return to the United States and marry, but we want to do so on our terms, with full equality and full dignity. Together we decided to put these words into action. For almost a decade, discriminatory laws have controlled us and have flung us around the globe like rag dolls forcing us to live thousands of miles from our families. We believe strongly that this must be challenged. With that in mind, I have filed a fiancé visa petition for Max.” Read more:

USCIS Approves 2010 Green Card Petition for Monica & Cristina, First Couple to Stop DOMA Deportation

Monica and Cristina joined The DOMA Project in the summer of 2010 when Monica was being held for three months in a detention facility in NJ after a random check of a Greyhound bus in upstate New York put her face to face with Border Patrol. After 10 years in the United States she was facing deportation.

Her attorney, DOMA Project founder, Lavi Soloway, waged a long battle to have her released, and after she was home with Cristina they joined DOMA Project founder on September 26, 2010 at a rally for Marriage Equality the first public event at which gay binational couples organized by The DOMA Project spoke out against DOMA deportations.

Throughout 2010 and 2011 they fought to stop Monica’s deportation. They never gave up even when the cause seemed hopeless. Finally the government and the Judge agreed to postpone removal proceedings so that Cristina’s marriage-based green card petition for Monica could be adjudicated. Later in 2011 the government moved to close the proceedings altogether pursuant to prosecutorial discretion guidelines. Last week, Monica and Cristina attended a green card interview at which their petition was approved by USCIS, paving the way for the approval of their green card application next.

Read more here: and watch this great video produced by Freedom to Marry profiling Monica & Cristina:

Congratulations to Jen & Rachel! USCIS Grants Green Card to Married Lesbian Couple in NJ:

USCIS Grants Green Card to Takuya & Aaron after Interview in NY

Long Island, NY: Green Card is Approved for Married Lesbian Couple Ending Years of Separation and Travel:

USCIS pproves Green Card for Lesbian Couple in NJ, 11 Years After They First Met