LONDON/WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – U.S. officials paved the way yesterday for same-sex spouses to visit or live in the United States, announcing the State Department will give equal treatment to visa applications of gays and lesbians who want to travel with their partner.
Secretary of State John Kerry, announcing the measure at the U.S. embassy in London, said the shift will allow the department to start processing requests from married gay couples the same way it handles those from heterosexual spouses.
“As long as a marriage has been performed in the jurisdiction that recognizes it, then that marriage is valid under U.S. immigration laws. Every married couple will be treated exactly the same, and that is what we believe is appropriate,” Kerry said.
The move, which follows similar action last month by U.S. immigration officials, would help U.S. citizens live and travel with their same-sex spouse in the United State as well as allow married couples from other countries to visit the United States.