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California Lesbian Couple Sues to Stop Deportation

California Lesbian Couple Sues to Stop Deportation

A lesbian couple from California filed a class-action federal lawsuit on Thursday to stop the deportation of same-sex spouses, according to the Associated Press.

The suit, filed on behalf of Philippines citizen Jane DeLeon, adds to the list of recent cases in support of immigrants in same-sex marriages who would qualify for legal status if not for the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

DeLeon, an accounting clerk, is eligible for a green card but needs a waiver to show that the separation would cause extreme hardship to an American citizen spouse or parent.

Her application for a waiver was denied last year because DOMA prevents the U.S. government from recognizing her marriage to Irma Rodriguez, an American citizen.

The Irvine-based couple married in California in 2008 during the nearly five-month window when same-sex marriage was legal in the state.

But Rodriguez doesn’t qualify as one of DeLeon’s relatives under DOMA. Moving to the Philippines is not an option for Rodriguez, who suffers from a medical condition that could jeopardize her health abroad.

The couple isn’t alone in their fight, as immigration advocates in New York sued in April on behalf of same-sex couples in the same predicament, claiming DOMA violated their constitutional rights.

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Lauren Jow