Russian Lesbian Couple Attempt First Same-Sex Marriage, are Denied
For the first time, a lesbian couple in Russia has attempted to obtain marriage license:
"Irina Fedotova and Irina Shipitko were handed a written rejection from an official in a registry office in central Moscow on Monday. The office director, Svetlana Potamoshneva, said Russian law recognizes a marriage 'only' between a man and a woman. Despite the rejection, the couple said they would not give up. 'We won't stop in midstream,' Fedotova told journalists later, adding that she and her partner plan to get married in Canada. She said Russia recognizes marriages registered abroad, thus allowing the couple to formalize their relationship. Despite the rejection, the couple—wearing suits and bow-ties and holding flowers—held hands and kissed, and said they would continue to fight for recognition of gay rights in Russia."
A gay pride parade is scheduled for Saturday despite the fact that it has been banned by officials, at the same time the city is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest finals, a huge cultural event for the city. A group called the Orthodox Front has been planning a protest of the parade: "The protesters' flyer shows garishly made-up transvestites juxtaposed with an image from the Beslan school hostage crisis. In 2004, Chechen terrorists stormed a school in the Russian republic of North Ossetia and held 1,200 children and adults captive for days. Hundreds died in the bloody drama. 'Homosexuality is the same as terrorism,' asserts one of the Pushkin Square activists. He and his colleagues call themselves the Orthodox Front. They tell interested passersby that the gay parade is a provocation against the government and promotes homosexuality. Many people are happy to sign the petition.