Family | NW Life | local | Gay Marriage

Oregonians Granted US Residency Through Same-Sex Spouses

OPB | Oct. 3, 2013 3:50 p.m. | Updated: May 13, 2014 6:55 a.m. | Portland

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Two Portlanders received permanent U.S. residency Thursday through their same-sex spouses. They’re among the first in Oregon to receive green cards as a result of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.

Cesar Higgins, right, of Colombia, is one of the first people in Oregon to receive permanent residency through a same-sex spouse. Here he celebrates with his husband, Valerium Pereira, left, and attorney Stephen Manning.

Cesar Higgins, right, of Colombia, is one of the first people in Oregon to receive permanent residency through a same-sex spouse. Here he celebrates with his husband, Valerium Pereira, left, and attorney Stephen Manning.

Jordana Gustafson / OPB

Carmen Gutiérrez and Cesar Higgins celebrated with their legal teams in downtown Portland shortly after they were granted permanent residency.

Gutiérrez and her wife, Jensi Albright, and Cesar and his husband, Valerium Pereira, submitted their applications for green cards just days after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June.

“I feel really good, happy,” Gutiérrez said. “I always say my process for happiness is slower. ­ I could be screaming later. But for the moment, I feel relieved, with a little more trust, and now I can take a little break.”

Two Portlanders received permanent U.S. residency Thursday through their same-sex spouses. They celebrated with attorneys and family. From left: Attorney Stephen Manning, Carmen Gutiérrez's mother, Jensi Albright, Gutiérrez, Valerium Pereira, Cesar Higgins, and attorney Jessica Boell.

Two Portlanders received permanent U.S. residency Thursday through their same-sex spouses. They celebrated with attorneys and family. From left: Attorney Stephen Manning, Carmen Gutiérrez's mother, Jensi Albright, Gutiérrez, Valerium Pereira, Cesar Higgins, and attorney Jessica Boell.

Jordana Gustafson / OPB

She and Albright plan to visit El Salvador, ­ the homeland Gutierrez left nine years ago. Higgins and Pereira have tickets for Colombia.

A spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said he could not confirm how many bi-national same-sex couples have been affected by the repeal of DOMA.

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