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07/31/2013 01:52 pm ET

Same-Sex Married Couples Entitled To Visas Despite Arizona Law, USCIS Says

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PHOENIX - Gay Arizonans who legally wed foreigners in other states will be able to use their status to gain a visa and a path to citizenship for their spouses living here, even though Arizona won't recognize their union.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Friday that it will determine people's marital status by the place they were wed, not where they are now living. That means the agency will consider the partner a spouse despite Arizona law.

The action appears to be the first crack in the 2008 voter-approved state constitutional amendment that spells out that marriage in Arizona is valid only between one man and one woman. That same amendment also was designed to ensure that Arizona does not have to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

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