In the latest win for gay immigration rights, a binational married couple in California has been spared deportation proceedings for more than two years should the government not drop its case, an immigration judge in San Francisco ruled Wednesday.
Alex Benshimol, a Venezuelan citizen who entered the U.S. on a tourist visa in 1999 and lives with his spouse, Doug Gentry, was given a 26-month reprieve from proceedings should the government decide to continue with its case, according to their immigration attorney, Stop the Deportation's Lavi Soloway. Judge Marilyn Teeter gave the government 60 days to decide whether it would drop the current proceedings against Benshimol.
A Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars married same-sex couples from the same citizen sponsorship rights, among other key benefits, that heterosexual married couples are afforded, could very well take place before September 2013, when Benshimol's proceedings would resume.
A Wednesday rally for the couple near San Francisco Immigration court was attended by groups including GetEqual, Marriage Equality USA, and Out4Immigration.