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U.S. Embassy in Manila issues its first visas to same-sex couples

Friday, December 6, 2013

MANILA, Luzon — The United States Embassy in the Philippines has issued its first fiancé visas to two same-sex couples.

U.S. Embassy in Manila.

U.S. Embassy in Manila.

According to the Embassy, Noel Amaro and Robert Cotterman were issued the visa on Dec. 2, becoming the first same-sex 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.

Maria Cecilia Limson Gahuman and Maria Carla Antonio also received a fiancé visa. The couple met through a mutual friend over a decade ago. With their fiancé visa, the couple will transition their their ten-year relationship from long-distance to marriage in California on Dec. 30.

Although same-sex marriage is not yet recognized in the Philippines, gay Americans are now able to petition for family-based visas on behalf of their Filipino spouses, fiancé, and their children.

“This change comes months after a momentous decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, 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 Embassy said, in a statement.

The announcement by the Embassy highlights the fact that American officials want to educate gay Filipinos about new visa opportunities.

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12 more reader comments:

  1. Manila Luzon

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 9:14pm
  2. This is awesome… I’m speechless. Way to go!!!

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 9:14pm
  3. Finally! There is some good news on the internet today!

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 9:27pm
  4. Bring’em in; we love them gays!!

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 9:34pm
  5. yes . i am so proud . and tell you that , i am the 1st . gay Transgender who Approved to the fiance Visa :) so gay LGBT ! go apply fiance visa to ur love TransPinay like me :D

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 9:41pm
  6. Last time I lived in Manila, it wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about gay people. Nice to see some steps in that regard.

    Posted on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 10:10pm
  7. Thanks !!! We just got our fiancé visa approved on Dec. 3, 2013.

    Posted on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 1:10am
  8. Ryan :)

    Posted on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 4:36am
  9. Fernbear

    Posted on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 4:36am
  10. That’s what I call FILIPINO PRIDE !!!

    Posted on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 6:48am
  11. Awesome!

    Posted on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 10:25am
  12. great to hear the good news!

    Posted on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 11:05am