BROWARD COUNTY (CBSMiami) – A married couple, who has spent many months living apart because the United States didn’t recognize their union, were finally reunited last week.
A Broward County man refused to back down on his demand that the U.S. Government issue his husband a green card.
Just days after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on Wednesday, the couple was in for some good news; their petition had been approved.
Julian Marsh and Traian Povov said that they are in love and now married. The couple exchanged vows October 19, 2012 in Brooklyn, New York.
“We fell in love the day we met,” said Marsh.
Although the two said that they were ecstatic about the federal ruling, their quest for equality in the state of Florida, where they live, is still an uphill battle because the state does not recognize same sex marriages.
Marsh is American but Povov is Bulgarian, so he had to apply for a green card. Up until Wednesday, the chances of Povov receiving a green card were very slim.
The couple had to prepare and said that they were willing to move out of the country if they had to.
“If we had to, yes, because we want to stay together,” said green card recipient Povov.
The court declared DOMA unconstitutional, ruling that gay couples that were married in the U.S., where it was legal, must get the same federal benefits as straight couples.
One of those benefits is having an American citizen be able to sponsor their spouse for a green card.
Two days after DOMA was struck down, Povov and his American husband got word his petition for a green card had been approved.
“We feel amazingly euphoric knowing that our own government recognizes our own marriage and now we want our state to do the same,” said Marsh. “The only things we get in Broward County is we can register as domestic partners and the only thing that gives us is visitation rights in the hospital.”
However, with DOMA being struck down the couple said there is definitely hope.
“We have to also be realists and it won’t happen overnight,” said Povov.
“My husband is an incredibly intelligent man he has four masters’ degrees and speaks five languages,” said Marsh. “He has something to offer this country but this country was willing to turn its back on him and now it’s not.”
Even though the Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down DOMA only applies to federal benefits, legal experts said the reasoning used to make the decision could also be applied at the state level if brought before a court.