"UNCLASSIFIED STATE 00112850
SUBJECT: NEXT STEPS ON DOMA - GUIDANCE FOR POSTS
1. On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. That decision has many immigration-related implications for same sex couples.
2. Beginning immediately, consular officers should review visa applications filed by a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed by an opposite-sex spouse, unless a specific provision of the federal immigration laws requires a different approach. The Visa Office (VO) deleted 9 FAM 40.1 N1.1 (a), which limited the word "marriage" for immigration purposes to mean "only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife," and the word "spouse" to mean only "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." A same-sex marriage is now valid for immigration purposes, as long as the marriage is recognized in the "place of celebration." A same-sex marriage is valid for immigration purposes even if the couple intends ultimately to reside in one of the 37 states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. The same-sex marriage is valid even if the applicant is applying in a country in which same-sex marriage is illegal.
3. The Department asks consular sections to identify what types of marriages are available for same-sex couples in-country and update the reciprocity tables, pursuant to 9 FAM 41.105. This information will be useful for Department and USCIS colleagues adjudicating I-130petitions. [More...]"