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Married Gay Immigrant Wins Deportation Reprieve in Texas

Married Gay Immigrant Wins Deportation Reprieve in Texas

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A gay Costa Rican immigrant in Texas has won a reprieve from deportation because of his marriage to an American man, in what is reportedly the first such ruling in that state.

A Houston immigration judge Thursday ended the deportation proceedings against David Gonzalez, who married U.S. citizen Mario Ramirez in California in 2008, during the brief period legal same-sex marriages were available there, the Houston Chronicle reports. They later moved to Texas.

The case is "the first in Texas to end in a reprieve based in large part on a same-sex marriage to a U.S. citizen," the Chronicle reports. There have been similar actions involving married gay binational couples in California, New Jersey, and other states.

"It's great news," Immigration Equality spokesman Steve Ralls told the paper. "It's consistent with similar actions we are seeing in other cases with lesbian and gay couples."

President Obama's administration has made some changes in enforcement of immigration laws, such as allowing an immigrant's relationships to be considered in deportation decisions, that have benefited gay couples. However, immigrants who are in same-sex marriages continue to have difficulty obtaining work permits. Gonzalez has no legal right to work in the U.S., indicating the need for further reform, Ralls told the Chronicle.

"It is definitely good news that the administration is beginning to drop deportation proceedings, but now the individuals who are spared from deportation need to be able to receive that legal recognition that is so important as they continue to build a life here with their U.S. citizen partners," Ralls said.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.