2009-06-15 12:21:00

Two Russian women seek marriage in Moscow, ready for external lawsuit

Moscow, June 15, Interfax - A lesbian couple has challenged authorities' refusal to register their marriage at the Moscow Tverskoy District Court, sexual minority organizations said on Monday.

"Irina Fet and Irina Shipitko asked the court to pronounce illegal the refusal of the Tverskoy Civil Registration Office to register their marriage and to compel the office to do that," the organizations said.

"If the Tverskoy District Court does not uphold the complaint, the couple will apply to the Moscow City Court and, later on, to the European Court of Human Rights. The state must respect marriage rights of any citizens, regardless their gender," organizer of the failed Moscow Gay Pride Parade Nikolay Alexeyev said.

The couple's appeal to the Tverskoy District Court runs as follows: "The Russian Constitution and family laws do not prohibit same-sex marriages. In addition, family and marriage rights, including those same-sex, are guaranteed with Articles 8 and 12 of the European Human Rights Convention ratified by the Russian Federation."

The women said they would register their marriage by Canadian laws in Toronto and seek recognition of the union in Russia upon the return from Canada.