The Justice Department today refused to step in to prevent the deportation Genesio Oliveira, a Brazilian man recently reunited with his husband, an American citizen, in Massuchusetts. In March, Oliveira and his husband followed the procedure to obtain a green card for Oliveira, as the immigrant spouse of an American citizen. But because the Defense of Marriage Act prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, they were out of luck.
Oliveira’s case became a high-profile cause after his husband, Tim Coco, invested in ads to bring attention to the couple’s plight. Senator John Kerry also took up the case.
Coloradoan Joshua Vandiver and his Venezualan husband Henry Velandia face the same legal roadblock. Watch them tell their story:
In June, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled unconstitutional the section of DOMA that prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, finding that the law was motivated simply by “irrational prejudice.” The Obama Administration has appealed the ruling.