An attempt to secure gay and
lesbian marriage rights in Russia has failed.
The European Court of Human Rights said
Wednesday that it would not consider the appeal of two men who claim
they were denied the right to marry in Russia, reports gayrussia.ru.
Gay activists in the former Soviet
Union responded to the decision apathetically, saying the attempt was
a “sham” from the start.
Human rights activist Edward Murzin and
Eduard Mishin decided to test the conviction of Russia's ban on gay
marriage when they requested a marriage license in January of 2005.
After being denied a marriage license, and having exhausted appeals
in the Russian courts, Murzin turned to the European Court of Human
The European Court refused to rule on
the matter because Murzin is a heterosexual man, married with two
small children. Furthermore, his purported groom, Mishin, attempted
to register under a false name.
Organizers say the theatrics were not a
stunt, that Murzin, the owner of the gay-oriented website gay.ru,
cares deeply about the rights of gays and lesbians.
“I have big respect for Edward
Murzin, who took part in Moscow Pride events in 2006 and 2007, but
the project of same-sex marriage legalization in Russia through this
way was deemed to failure from its start,” said gay activist and
Moscow Pride organizer Nikolai Alekseev.
“European Court deals with human
rights breaches and the rights of Mr. Murzin were not breached by
anyone in this case. He said from the beginning that his marriage
with Mr. Mishin is a sham and is only done to fight for the rights of
sexual minorities,” he said.
Gayrussia.ru says there are several gay
marriage cases currently before the European Court, including one
from a French gay couple from Begle, France.