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Gay Marriage Action in Chicago Helps Inspires Action in ... Moscow, Russia!

GLN permalink posted May 6, 2009

Yesterday we received this very inspiring email from Russia's leading LGBT rights campaigner, Nikolai Alexeyev:

From: Nicolas Alexeyev
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 09:45:44 -0700 (PDT)
To: lgbtliberation@aol.com
Subject: Re: Moscow

You saw the news on Gay Marriage in Moscow ?

Actually... your attempt last month in Chicago inspired us to do it in May in Moscow... thought you would like to know that the news you send can also have consequences on the other part of the world !

MOSCOW, May 5, 2009 (GayRussia.ru) – Two women will apply for a marriage license in Moscow on May 12, it emerged this afternoon.

The announcement was made today during a press conference for Slavic Pride which is planned for later this month in Moscow.

Irina Fet, 31, a co-organizer of the Slavic Pride said that she will attempt to marry her fiancée next Tuesday at one of Moscow‘s Marriage Registration Office (ZAGS).

“We love each other for a while now and we want it to be officially recognized.” Irina Fet told journalists.

“We believe that we have the same rights than any other citizen for happiness. Our love is not different,” Ms Fet added.

While the couple already anticipate the possibility of their application to be turned down, they said they will marry abroad if necessary and ask for the recognition of their marriage in Russia.

“Canada and Norway are the only countries which opened same sex marriage to non resident.” explained Nikolai Alekseev, the legal adviser of the couple and chief organizer of the Slavic Pride.

“We initially considered flying the couple to Norway but the procedure is long and fastidious, instead, we decided to register them in Toronto under Canadian laws,” Mr. Alekseev said.

According to the campaigners, the Russian legislation does not prevent the recognition of a valid same sex marriage signed abroad.

“The Russian law clearly lists all the situation which prevent to recognize a marriage abroad and, a same sex marriage is not one of them. “There is a clear loophole in the Russian law that we are going to use,” Mr. Alekseev revealed.

The activists explained their intention to take their fight for same sex marriage up to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). – “both on the right to marry in Russia and on the recognition of a foreign marriage in Russia”.

Last month, the European Court of Human Rights accepted for consideration the complaint lodged by a gay couple whose marriage was registered in June 2004 in France, but was later cancelled by a French court.

The Russian campaigners forecast that should they need to appeal up to the ECHR, their case should be considered around 2015-2016 due to the queue of cases against Russia awaiting consideration in Strasbourg.

“By that time, the decision against France and Ireland will be far away and we have a chance to open the door to same sex marriage in Europe,” Mr. Alekseev concluded.

The campaign for same sex marriage in Russia is part of the “Gay Equality! No Compromise” project which was also launched today in Russia by the LGBT organizations GayRussia.ru.


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