A lesbian couple will apply for a
marriage license in Moscow, a city run by an outspoken homophobic
Irina Fet, 31, will attempt to marry
her fiancé on May 12 during Slavic Pride, Moscow's banned gay pride
parade that coincides with the Eurovision Song Contest finale.
“We love each other for a while now
and we want it to be officially recognized,” Fet told journalists
at a press event. “We believe that we have the same rights than
any other citizen for happiness. Our love is not different.”
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has denied
gay activists a march license since a 2006 event turned violent
between marchers and anti-gay protesters. This year, Luzhkov has all
but warned gay activists not to stage their May 16 gay pride and
march celebration and Moscow Police Chief Vladimir Pronin is backing
the mayor. Organizers insist the march will take place.
Gay activists anticipate the marriage
application will be rejected and plan to press Russian authorities to
honor a Canadian marriage license.
Prominent gay activist and chief
organizer of Slavic Pride Nikolai Alekseev said if denied a marriage
license the couple would be flown to Canada, most probably Toronto,
“Canada and Norway are the only
countries which opened same sex marriage to non-residents,”
Alekseev said Tuesday. “We initially considered flying the couple
to Norway but the procedure is long and fastidious.”
According to gay activists, Russian law
does not ban the recognition of legal gay marriages formed abroad.
“There is a clear loophole in the
Russian law that we are going to use,” Alekseev said.