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No Change: Same-Sex Couples Still Not Eligible For Visas

For about a day this week, it sounded to some interested parties like the federal government might be reconsidering the rules that have always meant that same-sex couples are nottreated the same as married heterosexuals when it comes to applications for such things as visas and green cards.

But, as The Advocatereports, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesman Christopher Bentley says "it's business as usual."

That means, The Associated Press adds, that "after a brief reprieve, immigration authorities are once again denying applications for immigration benefits for same sex couples."

The reason some thought things might be changing, is that authorities had said they were reviewing the policy in light of the Obama administration's announcement that it will no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

But Bentley tells The Advocate that the latest legal guidance to USCIS is that it should handle the cases as it always had.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.