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Hold the Vodka: Russia Says Nyet to Gay Marriage

A Russian court yesterday denied a request by two women to force a Moscow registry office to marry them. The women went to court after the registry office refused to endorse their marriage last May, citing a Russian law that described marriage as a "union between a woman and a man."

Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko had asked the judge to overrule the registry office. They argued that nothing in the Russian Constitution or in Russian family law prohibits same-sex marriages. They also cited the European Convention on Human Rights, which supports same-sex marriages.

The couple's lawyer, Nikolai Alexeyev, a Russian gay rights activist, said he would continue to fight the issue in the courts. "We understand quite well that it is a long road that must be taken before such unions will be recognized. But I have no doubt this recognition will come."

Meanwhile, the two women plan to fly to Canada and marry in Toronto later this month. "We want recognition of our relationship by society and the state," Shipitko told a reporter. "We are a family already, we live together and share household chores."

Lawyer and Russia observer Robert Amsterdam finds some irony in the decision of the Russian court. "Yet another check mark in the column making the Russian leadership most similar to the GOP, some of whom believe that gay marriage leads to socialism," he writes. "So I guess Russia's refusal to allow gay marriage marks the final transition to free market capitalism?"

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Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on October 7, 2009 at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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