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Kerry Announces Equal Treatment For Visas Of Same-Sex Spouses

Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a policy address regarding same-sex spouses applying for U.S. visas, at the U.S. Embassy in London on Friday.
Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a policy address regarding same-sex spouses applying for U.S. visas, at the U.S. Embassy in London on Friday.

The State Department said Friday it would begin processing visas for same-sex spouses the same as applications from married heterosexuals.

"Effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a visa, the Department of State will consider that application in the same manner that it considers the application of opposite-sex spouses," Secretary of State John Kerry said.

"As long as a marriage has been performed in a jurisdiction that recognizes it, so that it is legal, then that marriage is valid under U.S. immigration laws and every married couple will be treated exactly the same," he said.

The move follows the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in June striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA.

In July, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, said it would begin handling petitions for immigration from same-sex couples the same as it does for opposite-sex couples.

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