Russian Pair Seek Gay Marriage License
January 18, 2005
By 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Moscow—A Russian politician and a
gay journalist, have applied for a marriage license in Moscow. The application
is expected to be rejected but the men say it will pave the way for a court
battle to determine the legality of same-sex marriage in the country.
The couple is unusual though. Eduard Murzin, a Bashkiria
regional State Assembly deputy, is hetrosexual. The man he wants to marry is
Eduard Mishin, head of “Together” LGBT center and the editor of web
“Our marriage is a mere formality,” Murzin told the
Moskovsky Komsomolets daily newspaper. “I do not belong to a sexual
minority, but I am ready to stand up for the civil rights of gays and lesbians
in Russia. An attempt to register an official marriage between the two males
was conceived as an action of protest against the discrimination of sexual
Same-sex marriage is not legal in Russia, but there is no
law specifically banning it. Murzin began campaigning for the legalization of
same-sex marriage a year ago.
Murzin has proposed legislation to amend the legal
definition of marriage from the “mutual consent of a man and a woman” to
“by mutual consent of citizens”. The bill was rejected.
The men say that the denial of the right to marriage for
gays contradicts the Russian constitution.
“Russia will not be among the first countries to allow
same-sex marriages, but it will certainly do so at some point,” Member of
Parliament Petr Shchelishch told Ekho Moskvy radio Tuesday. “This attempt is
unlikely to lead to a Constitutional Court decision, but it is good in terms
of changing public attitudes.”
Mishin said Tuesday that he hopes the fight over same-sex
marriage will mobilize the Russian LGBT community.
Homosexuality was illegal under the old Soviet regime but
was decriminalized in 1993.
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