Today, a federal judge in Pennsylvania joined the United States Supreme Court and over a dozen other states in ruling that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the U.S. Constitution. Lawyers for the plaintiffs alleged that Pennsylvania’s Defense of Marriage Act violated a fundamental right to marry as well as the Constitution’s equal-protection clause. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in U.S. v. Windsor, federal immigration benefits have been available to all legally married same-sex couples. Now, with the rejection of the state’s DOMA law, roadblocks have been lifted for same-sex couples to marry in Pennsylvania and to pursue marriage-based immigration benefits, such as green cards, fiancé visas, dependent visas and other family-based immigration benefits.
Congratulations to the Plaintiffs and their lawyers in the case and to the many couples who can now benefit from marriage equality in Pennsylvania. For more information on the immigration benefits available to same-sex couples and their families, please contact us.