The Supreme Court's huge decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act is already affecting legal cases across the country.
As noted by Think Progress, one same-sex couple from New York is particularly thankful that the ruling came when it did.
New York musician Sean Brooks has been married to his Colombian husband Steven since 2011, when gay marriage became legal in New York. After their marriage, Sean filed a green card petition for his husband on grounds of their legally recognized marriage in the state of New York.
But the couple’s marriage was not recognized by the federal government in accordance with DOMA. Steven was ruled ineligible to receive a spousal visa and deportation proceedings began. Sean wrote about his frustrations in a 2011 blog post for the DOMA Project, a group dedicated to fighting the federal law.
“It makes a mockery of the victory of marriage equality to know that the most powerful government in this country — the federal government in Washington D.C. — refuses to recognize our marriage because of the Defense of Marriage Act," he said. “They would just as soon deport Steven even though we have been together as a couple for seven years and we are legally married. It seems to me that I have spent my whole life trying to not be a second-class citizen, but that effort has been quietly and insidiously trumped by becoming an 'other-class citizen.'”
After today’s ruling, as noted by the Huffington Post, Sean and Steven do not need to feel like second-class citizens anymore. With their marriage now recognized by both state and federal governments, Steven’s deportation process was immediately stopped. Steven will now be eligible for a spousal green card.