• The Washington Post

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The United States will immediately begin giving visa applications from same-sex spouses the same preferential consideration typically granted to opposite-sex spouses, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.

The policy change means that a foreign national in a legal same-sex marriage with an American citizen can more easily acquire a U.S. entry visa and that applications from legally wed foreign gay couples will be considered jointly.

“If you’re the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. If you’re the spouse of a non-citizen, your visa application will be treated equally,” 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,” Kerry said.