Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
One of the most significant developments in 2013 was on June 13, 2013 when a section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. This ruling meant that the federal government was forced to recognize the marriages of same sex couples. One of the rights that this ruling affects is the right for a U.S. citizen to seek permanent resident status for a foreign-born spouse. The couple, however, has to be married in a state or country that recognizes same sex marriages. This right exists even if the couple is currently living in a state that does not recognize same sex marriages.