When the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act last week -- a victory for gay and lesbian couples around the nation -- the ruling paved the way for a Boulder family to remain together in the U.S.

Catriona Dowling and Cathy Davis were able Wednesday to get Davis a green card after years of fighting for one.

Both Dowling and Davis are from Ireland, but Dowling was a naturalized citizen when the two met while on vacation in Nepal in 2006.

The two married in Iowa last year, but while DOMA remained law, Davis' application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Denver for a green card could not be granted because the federal government would not recognize the marriage.

Their cause has been supported by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, and by Project DOMA, a campaign launched in 2010 by a group of married binational couples working with attorneys Lavi Soloway and Noemi Masliah.

Polis said he called to congratulate the couple and was relieved to hear that their future in the U.S. is secure.

"It's been a long wait, and frankly too long," Polis said. "For it to be official was welcome news. There were times along the way when our hopes were dashed."

Polis said he hopes other couples in similar situations will also see their dreams fulfilled.

"I'm very excited that the recent Supreme Court decision helped this family stay together and will help hundreds of other families dealing with this issue of having to choose between their country or their family and loved ones," Polis said. "America is moving in the right direction."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Mitchell Byars at 303-473-1329 or byarsm@dailycamera.com.