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Gay Immigrant Denied Marriage-Based Green Card in 1975 Re-Opens Case

Nearly 40 years ago, Anthony Sullivan of Hollywood was told: "You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots," said his attorney.

Anthony Sullivan, of Hollywood, wants a green card based on his marriage. His husband has since died. Patch file photo.
Anthony Sullivan, of Hollywood, wants a green card based on his marriage. His husband has since died. Patch file photo.

A 72-year-old widowed gay immigrant reopened his marriage-based green card petition today, four decades after it was first denied by federal officials in Los Angeles.

Anthony Sullivan, of Hollywood, asked in a filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Los Angeles that the agency retroactively approve his late husband's 1975 green card petition and convert it to a widower's petition, giving the surviving spouse the right to apply for permanent residency in the United States.

The Obama administration allows same-sex marriages to be recognized for immigration purposes. However, decades ago, Sullivan and his spouse, Richard Adams, lost their bid to win immigration benefits, according to Sullivan's attorney, Lavi Soloway.

Adams died in December 2012, Soloway said.

In a letter dated Nov. 24, 1975, and addressed to Adams, the former Immigration and Naturalization Service wrote a single sentence to deny the petition: "You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots," according to Soloway.

Sullivan and Adams filed suit, demanding that the federal government recognize their marriage for immigration purposes. Following 10 years of litigation, the couple lost in a final ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Sullivan is renewing his petition as the widower of an American citizen.

Soloway said Sullivan's new request is consistent with routine procedure available to opposite-sex couples in similar circumstances.

Sullivan and Adams wed in 1975 after learning that the county clerk in Boulder, Colo., was issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, Soloway said.

The couple returned home to Los Angeles and Adams immediately filed a green card petition with INS on Sullivan's behalf for the spouse of an American citizen.

They became one of the first gay couples in American history to legally marry and the first same-sex couple to sue the federal government for recognition of their marriage, the attorney said.

--City News Service


desertpatriot April 28, 2014 at 10:22 AM
dr. cameron’s obituary study has yielded some incredible statistics, including: *homosexual males are 116 times more likely to be murdered as straight men *homosexual males are 24 times more likely to commit suicide *homosexual males are 18 times more likely to die in car accidents *homosexual males are 22 times more likely to die of heart-attacks as whites overall, and 11 times more likely as blacks *lesbians are 487 times more likely to die of murder, suicide or accident as straight women
desertpatriot April 28, 2014 at 11:14 AM
@dee: agreed! and for those brave individuals who dare to stand up to the homosexual madness sweeping the nation we are targeted as homophobes, haters, bigots etc. my only hope for these people is they get much needed help soon
desertpatriot April 28, 2014 at 11:16 AM
finally, i would like to encourage the gender confused to seek out and find the help they really need i.e. 'pray the gay away' with lisa ling---------------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.oprah.com/pressroom/Live-Discussion-with-Lisa-Ling-and-Gayle-King-Pray-The-Gay-Away

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