Two Russian lesbians have travelled all the way to Canada to be “married” under Canadian law in order to try to force Russian authorities to recognize their union.
Though homosexuality is not illegal in Russia, Russian law states that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
The couple is hoping to exploit a loophole in Russian law which does not specify the gender of those married abroad.
Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko came to Canada with the help of the homosexual advocacy group Egale Canada, and were “married” in Toronto on Friday by Harvey Brownstone, a well-known openly homosexual judge.
The couple’s lawyer, Russian homosexual rights campaigner Nikolai Alexeyev, told GayRussia.ru, “We are delighted with the warm welcome in this wonderful country and in this stunning city of Toronto. Even though it is not my marriage, this is a day I will hardly forget. We are grateful to the Canadian LGBT organisation EGALE for helping us in organising the wedding of our Irinas in Toronto.”
The two lesbians’ attempt to “marry” in Russia in May was refused by the Moscow marriage registry office. The Tverskoi District Court in Moscow upheld the decision of the city authorities on October 6, saying same-sex “marriages” are illegal in Russia.
Russian news service RIA Novosti noted that though homosexuality is no longer a criminal offense in Russia, there is little public support for “gay rights.”
“The city of Moscow has never allowed a gay pride parade or rights demonstration, which the mayor has called satanic,” RIA Novosti commented.
Fedotova-Fet and Shipitko are expected to return to Russia this week and have said they are willing to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
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