Shirley Tan, the lesbian mother of two originally from the Philippines, has been granted a temporary stay to remain in the United States in order to appeal her case.

Tan, who married US citizen Jay Mercado five years in California, was to be deported on Friday.

US federal law does not recognise their same-sex marriage and does not allow same-sex partners to sponsor their foreign partners to gain legal permanent residency.

If Tan’s deportation had taken place, Mercado and their two sons were set to immigrate to the Philippines with her.

Tan had her deportation delayed by the Department of Homeland Security until April 22, so that she can have more time to make the case that to remain in the country legally.

Ever since the case was first reported in the media it has become a rallying-point for gay-rights groups that say the nation’s immigration laws need to be changed in order to accommodate same-sex couples.

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