Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

U.S. to issue visas to same-sex couples
2013-08-02

This article shared 2574 times since Fri Aug 2, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States will immediately begin issuing immigrant visas to same-sex couples, according to Politico.com .

Speaking at the U.S. Embassy in London, Kerry said the applications will be given the same consideration as heterosexual couples. As long as the marriage is valid in the jurisdiction, either U.S. or foreign country where it took place, it is valid for immigration purposes, the State Department issued in statement. An engaged couple who cannot marry in the foreign fiance's country can apply for a fiance(e) (K) visa.

Remarks, Secretary of State John Kerry ,Announcement on Visa Changes for Same-Sex Couples, Aug. 2, 2013, U.S. Embassy London, United Kingdom

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Well, thanks for gathering, I know on relatively short notice. I really appreciate it. One of the — first of all, it's great to be in London, and thank you for all of you here. How many of you are Embassy? You all raise your hands. How many are consular section? A few. Most of them I left behind in the consular section now, anyway. Well, thank you for joining us.

One of the most special things that we get to do — you guys, come on in. Let's get everybody in here before we start, whoever's standing in. I know we have one of the largest consular sections in the world here. I think Moscow may be slightly larger. But the work that you all do here is really important, because for many people, you're the first faces that people get to see of America and the first impression they get. And hopefully, it can be a good one. Obviously, sometimes there are visa issues and it doesn't always turn out the way people want it to be.

But we appreciate what you do, and the fact is that one of the greatest responsibilities of the State Department is to show people who America is, who we are as people, and what we value as Americans. And that's what every single one of you do every single day here at Embassy London, and it's what our colleagues do at posts all around the world. I just came from addressing a very large gathering in Islamabad, Pakistan, a difficult tour of duty, but equally important in terms of our efforts to promote democracy and promote the values of human rights and so forth.

So when I first came here in my first stop, my first foreign stop as Secretary of State 27 countries ago, I said to everybody that you're all ambassadors no matter what you're doing here, and that is true. When you step out of the Embassy and go down the street or wherever you live, wherever you are, you're an ambassador of our country. And when you treat people with respect and you give them the best of yourselves, you show them the best of America, and that means showing them what we believe, what we stand for, and what we share with the world.

One of our most important exports by far is America's belief in the equality of all people. Now, our history shows that we haven't always gotten it right. As I mentioned yesterday in Islamabad, slavery was written into our Constitution before it was written out. And we are still struggling to make equal the rights between men and women and to break the glass ceiling and to make sure that all people are created equal. That is what we try to do, I think wearing our heart on our sleeve, and sometimes our warts, more than almost any other nation on the face of the planet. We believe in working to do better and to live up to these higher values, and we try to do it in a lot of different ways.

Today is one of those days. I'm very pleased to be able to announce that effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a visa, the Department of State will consider that application in the same manner that it will consider the application of opposite-sex spouses. And here is exactly what this rule means: If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. If you are the spouse of a non-citizen, your visa application will be treated equally. And if you are in a country that doesn't recognize your same-sex marriage, then your visa application will still be treated equally at every single one of our 222 visa processing centers around the world.

Now, 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, and that is what we believe is appropriate. Starting next year, that will include same-sex couples from England and Wales, which just this year passed laws permitting same-sex marriage that will take effect in 2014.

And as you know, more than two years ago, President Obama instructed our Department of Justice to stop enforcing DOMA. Then just a few weeks ago, the Supreme Court of the United States declared DOMA unconstitutional. Today, the State Department, which has always been at the forefront of equality in the federal government, I'm proud to say, is tearing down an unjust and an unfair barrier that for too long stood in the way of same-sex families being able to travel as a family to the United States.

I am proud to say that I voted against DOMA, one of 14 votes against it and the only person running for election that year who voted against it, and it's one of the better votes that I've cast. It was the right vote then, it's the right vote today. And I'm pleased to make this announcement today because this is one of those moments where policy and values join together. And I think those of you in the consular division, more than me or more than any of us back at the State Department on a daily basis, are going to bet you'd be the people who get to make this a reality for people.

So those of you working today in the consular section will make history when you issue some of the first visas to same-sex couples, and you will be some of the first faces to welcome them to the United States in an always — a country that obviously is always trying to tweak and improve and do better by the values around which we were founded. You share in the great responsibility of making our country live its values, and you make possible the journey of those who want to visit our country for that reason and many more.

I might remark that I get to sit up on the 7th floor of the State Department looking out straight at the Lincoln Memorial. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the famous march on Washington and of Martin Luther King's unbelievably eloquent and historic plea for equality. So that is where the dream was declared, the march goes on, this is several more steps in that march. I can't thank you enough for your hard work, and as always, I am proud to call myself your colleague. Thank you very much. (Applause.)


This article shared 2574 times since Fri Aug 2, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL Military bill, LGBTQ teen, trans deaths, Pride items, children's book
2021-05-09
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that directs the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs in the Garden State to assist former Armed Forces service members who were denied an honorable discharge due to ...


Gay News

POLITICS U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos to step down
2021-05-03
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois) announced she would retire from Congress after this term, Politico reported. Bustos had stepped down from leading the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee after shepherding the ...


Gay News

WORLD Caribbean group, hate crime, 'Queen of the Pacific,' volcano wedding
2021-05-02
A Caribbean advocacy group launched a fund to help LGBTQ people who have been impacted by the eruption of a volcano on the island of St. Vincent, The Washington Blade reported. The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Black trans candidate, travel case, trans death, CEO fired
2021-05-02
RuPaul's Drag Race alum Honey Mahogany—who currently holds a vice-chair seat in her local County Central Committee—announced that she will be seeking the role of chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party when current Party Chair ...


Gay News

Coalition of aldermen announces Chicago City Council's Democratic Socialist Caucus
2021-05-01
Chicago, Illinois (May 1, 2021) — Today, five aldermen announced the formal creation of the Democratic Socialist Caucus of the Chicago City Council. The founding members of the caucus - Aldermen Daniel La Spata (1), Jeanette ...


Gay News

Victory Institute launches LGBTQ political history website
2021-04-30
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Institute — the only organization dedicated to identifying and supporting LGBTQ public leaders — released its new website "Pride & Progress: A history of LGBTQ political power in the United ...


Gay News

Former, current Chicago aldermen facing multiple charges
2021-04-29
On April 29, former 22nd Ward Ald. Ricardo Munoz was indicted on federal charges alleging he spent cash from a political fund he controlled on sports tickets, travel, meals and other personal expenses, The Chicago Tribune ...


Gay News

LGBTQ appointments in 100 days of Biden/Harris administration off to a historic start
2021-04-29
--From a press release - Washington, DC — One-hundred days into his presidency, President Joe Biden has appointed at least 200 known LGBTQ appointees to his administration, exponentially more than any other president at this point in their administration. Among them ...


Gay News

Mayor Lightfoot announces launch of Open Chicago
2021-04-29
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced the launch of Open Chicago, the latest initiative to safely and fully reopen the city. Open Chicago's initial programming will feature activated, re-imagined, and pop-up spaces for Chicago ...


Gay News

HRC celebrates advancements in LGBTQ rights over Pres. Biden's first 100 days
2021-04-29
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — Today marks the 100th day of President Joseph R. Biden's presidency. In response, Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign, released the following statement celebrating the many steps the Biden Administration has ...


Gay News

National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund reacts to joint address by President Biden
2021-04-29
Statement from Kierra Johnson, ED, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund: "Tonight, the President laid out a broad agenda that would improve the lives of diverse LGBTQ people in this country in so many ways, from ...


Gay News

Yet another governor signs anti-trans bill
2021-04-28
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill that bans transgender athletes from competing in female sports in middle and high schools and colleges, The Seattle Times noted. Bills seeking to ban transgender girls from competing ...


Gay News

Hate mail threatening Obamas, Biden, Harris sent to DuSable
2021-04-28
The Secret Service is investigating six threatening letters sent to the DuSable Museum of African American History that mention President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the Obama family, among others, The Chicago Tribune reported. ...


Gay News

More than 400 major U.S. corporations register unprecedented support for Equality Act
2021-04-27
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Business Coalition for the Equality Act (https://www.hrc.org/resources/business-coalition-for-equality) announced it has grown to include more than 400 major U.S. corporations (including dozens ...


Gay News

New Center for Applied Transgender Studies responds to trans misinformation
2021-04-27
Combatting bad information and promoting accurate education on transgender issues are the focuses at the Center for Applied Transgender Studies, which officially opened March 31. The independent, nonprofit, research organization ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.