Possibly the First Life to be Changed for the Better After DOMA Struck Down

Written by Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

A New York City immigration judge immediately stopped the deportation proceedings of a gay Colombian man who is legally married to an American citizen soon after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for being unconstitutional, as was first reported by Americablog on Wednesday. The federally-sanctioned DOMA only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman, so Sean Brooks and his Colombian husband Stevenís marriage did not exist in the eyes of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Therefore, USCIS cancelled Stevenís green card petition.

The ordeal for the couple started in 2011 when Sean, the American citizen tried to file a green card petition for his husband based on their same-sex marriage. This left Steven in a visa limbo and vulnerable to deportation. Steven, who had not been back to Colombia for twelve years, applied to have his deportation cancelled based on the hardship that his deportation would incur on his spouse. The request was denied because federal law does not let the immigration judge recognize their marriage as valid.

As seen in the immediate cessation of Steveís deportation, the ruling has a profound impact on the LGBT community, not least of which 24,700 other binational same-sex couples can now breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that they will not be torn away from the people their love. For a population of about 267,000 LGBT undocumented individuals, the Supreme Court ruling comes as a future goal post to look forward to now that federal laws has ended the discrimination against their love. It also will finally allow the federal government to treat all LGBT families equally by allowing them access to federal benefits and protections.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Stanley R.
Stanley R.2 years ago

Marriage is between a man and a woman, really?

Jan L.
Jan L.2 years ago

Very good news.

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

Kudos to the judge.Thanks for sharing

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener2 years ago


Kathy K.
Kathy K.2 years ago


Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley2 years ago

Good news.

Mark Botermuc
Mark Botermuc2 years ago

Thank you ...

Mia Reh
Mia Reh2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

GGma Sheila
GGmaSheila D.2 years ago

Thank goodness for that intern and for his run to the court. Here's wishing the couple Many Happy Returns. Also wishing that intern much happiness.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams2 years ago

So glad this couple will not be separated. They are MARRIED! Know one should care if they are two men, two women or a man and a woman. Married is Married, period.