Gay-MarriageThe Defense of Marriage Act, which currently prohibits the spouse of any same-sex couple applying for a green card in the U.S., has been challenged by a lawfirm.

Masliah & Soloway are representing the immigrant partners in four binational gay couples residing in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Canada, who may now have another chance at staying in the U.S. under recent rulings by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

In four separate rulings, the board has refused to confirm the denial of green cards to the gay foreign nationals until it was determined “whether the marriages are legally valid and whether, notwithstanding DOMA Section 3, the spouse would qualify for a green card under the Immigration & Nationality Act,” according to a press release from Masliah & Soloway.

Also, in one case, the board reopened removal proceedings for a spouse who was under a deportation order. This is the first time the appeals body has taken either action after denials based solely on DOMA Section 3, the firm noted.

“We are elated that the Department of Justice has ordered USCIS to treat the marriages of each gay binational couple with respect by requiring that a complete record of eligibility be created,” attorney Lavi Soloway told Metro Weekly, “It’s a surprising development. It’s a welcome development. … It’s also historical. This has never happened before.”

The ruling delays the cases and opens up the possibility of the foreign spouses receiving green cards if the U.S. Supreme Court finds DOMA federally unconstitutional, as several lower courts have already done.

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