A lesbian couple from Colorado on
Wednesday became the first gay couple to receive a green card based
on their marriage.
Cathy Davis, an Irish citizen, and
Catriona Dowling met in 2006 while trekking in the Himalayas. They
married in Iowa in 2012 and are raising three children in Boulder,
Colorado. They applied to adjust Davis' status to permanent resident
after an extension to her work visa was denied. The couple was
interviewed by USCIS immigration services in January. At the request
of their attorney, Lavi Soloway, a co-founder of the DOMA project,
the interviewing officer put the case on hold rather than issuing a
The approval comes exactly a week after
the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),
which prohibited federal agencies, such as USCIS, from recognizing
the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
Dowling said that she began to cry when
she was given the news.
“I immediately yelled out and began
to cry, Cathy was more stunned with the news and quiet for that
moment, which led the Supervisor to assume that I was the immigrant
spouse,” she said. “She explained that production of the green
card had been ordered and it would soon arrive by mail; she also
explained that Cathy could apply for American citizenship in three
The women grew up four miles apart in
Ireland. Dowling became a U.S. citizen in 2002.
On Friday, a Florida couple's green
card petition was approved, allowing them to remain together in
the United States.
couple's marriage-based green card petition approved.)