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Published On: Sun, Dec 8th, 2013

Philippines: US Embassy Manila issues first fiancé visa to a same-sex couple

Just months after the Supreme Court of the United States decision, which struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines issued its first fiancé visa to a same-sex couple last week.

photo Koshy Koshy

photo Koshy Koshy

With the overturning of DOMA, which signifies that the U.S. federal government must extend all federal rights and privileges of marriage to any married couple, regardless of sexual orientation,including immigration rights.

According to a US Embassy, Manila news release Dec.2:

Noel “Aeinghel” Amaro and Robert Cotterman were the first gay couple in the Philippines to receive a fiancé visa. Cotterman serves in the U.S. military and is scheduled to return from a tour in Afghanistan in January 2014. The two met online and will be married January 2014 in the United States.

Maria Cecilia Limson Gahuman and Maria Carla Antonio also received a fiancé visa. The couple met through a mutual friend over a decade ago. Because Maria Limson Gahuman is Filipina, and Maria Antonio is American, however, there was no way for the couple to be together. With their fiancé visa, the couple will transition their their ten-year relationship from long-distance to marriage in California on December 30, 2013.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “the State Department, which has always been at the forefront of equality in the federal government . . . 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.”

The US Embassy notes that Filipinos in same-sex relationships with Americans are encouraged to view the Visas section of the Embassy website at manila.usembassy.gov for more information.

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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