An important federal ruling has just been issued which declares that a lesbian couple facing immigration troubles has the standing to challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) because it violates the constitutional rights of immigrants in same-sex marriages.  According to the Ventura County Star, the U.S. District Judge also ordered that a lawsuit, filed last year on behalf of Philippines citizen Jane DeLeon and her spouse Irma Rodgiguez, can proceed as a class-action case.

In her lawsuit, DeLeon claimed that she was eligible to obtain a green card, but wasn’t able to get a waiver she needs to obtain residency here because the U.S. government doesn’t recognize her same-sex marriage to an American.  The lawsuit was filed by the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law.  Their president, Peter Schey, claimed he hopes the decision will lead the government to reconsider visa application by same-sex couples.

DeLeon has asserted that her visa application was denied solely because “we have a same-sex marriage.”  This case is but one of a number of challenges brought by same-sex couples – some facing immigration troubles – over the 1996 law that prohibits the U.S. government from recognizing same-sex marriages, which is now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court.