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Married Fla. gay couple first to receive green card

July 1, 2013 at 12:59 PM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., July 1 (UPI) -- A gay couple in Fort Lauderdale became the first wedded same-sex couple to be recognized by the United States for a green card, officials said.

Traian "Tray" Popov and Julian Marsh found out Friday that their petition for a green card for Popov had been approved, just two days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, The Miami Herald reported.

Section 3 has been used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to deny green cards for foreign-born spouses in same-sex marriages with U.S. citizens.

"We are ecstatic that our country recognizes our marriage," Marsh said Sunday. "I never doubted the Supreme Court would not overturn DOMA. Ever. It was in my mind impossible that anybody could stop love."

Marsh and Popov, Bulgarian-born student at Nova Southeastern University, met in 2011 and got married in New York City in 2012. Marsh said the couple discussed what they would do if Popov was denied a green card.

"I wanted to know we could be together forever. Tray is here on a student visa. As long as he's enrolled in school, he can stay," Marsh said. "We recognized back then that when Tray graduates we might have to leave our home and our country. We were willing to do that. We were planning on doing that. We were discussing where to move to. Thanks to the Supreme Court we can stay in our home now. We can be in the country that we love."

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