Lesbian Couple’s Marriage Appeal Rejected by Russian Court

By Sadie Bass

Oct 7, 2009 9:25am

ABC's Alexander Marquardt reports from Moscow: A lesbian couple’s attempt to be Russia’s first legally married gay couple has foundered in court. Two Russian women were told Tuesday by Moscow’s Tverskoy Court that the refusal by a local registry office to marry them would be upheld. Irina Fet and Irina Shipitko tried to register for a marriage license in May but the registry office that received the application rejected it, quoting Russian law that defines a marriage as a “union between a man and a woman.” "We want recognition of our relationship by society and the state. We are a family already, we live together and share household chores," Shipitko said, according to the Associated Press. "We also would like to have children. That is why we want legal recognition of our union." A spokeswoman for the court didn’t elaborate beyond the official ruling, simply stating, “the judge refused their request.” The women’s lawyer, a leading gay rights leader himself, tells the AP they planned to fight the ruling, calling the process a “long road.” In the meantime, the women plan to fly to Canada on October 23rd and get married in Toronto where gay marriage is legal. Tuesday’s ruling is the latest salvo in the fight between gay rights activists and the Russian government.  Homosexuality has been legal in Russia since the 1990s but society is very far from accepting it. Russia’s capital has never allowed a gay pride parade, Moscow’s mayor has called them “satanic acts” and reportedly referred to homosexuals as “homos” in a TV interview. A libel suit filed by a gay rights group against the mayor, Yury Luzhkov, for using the derogatory term was tossed out last Friday.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus