Gay couple may be 1st to win immigration bid

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Gay couple in Florida first to get green card

A graduate student from Bulgaria and his American husband are the first gay petitioners to be approved for immigration benefits, lawyer says.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Bulgarian graduate student and his American husband are the first gay couple in the nation to have their application for immigration benefits approved after the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriages, their lawyer says.

That means Traian Popov, here on a student visa, can apply for a green card and eventually U.S citizenship. But he can't work or visit family back home while his application for benefits is processed. And his marriage to Julian Marsh, performed in New York, still won't be recognized in Florida, where they live.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wouldn't confirm Monday whether this case was the first. But the couple's lawyer, Lavi Soloway of The DOMA Project, says his organization has filed about 100 such petitions since 2010 and expects more approvals soon.

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