Moscow Court Upholds Refusal to Register Same-Sex Marriage


August 15, 2013 – Москва Россия (RIA-NOVOSTI) –  August 15 (RIA Novosti/RAPSI) – A Moscow district court on Thursday ruled that a Russian registry office’s refusal to marry a gay couple was lawful.

On June 28, two women – Yana Petrova and Yelena Davydova – applied to get married at a St. Petersburg registry office but were denied on the grounds that, according to Russia’s Family Code, marriage is a conjugal union between a man and a woman.

On August 2, a Russian court said the same registry office’s refusal to accept another gay couple’s marriage application was unlawful, but the court declined to order the office to marry the couple. Gay rights activists Dmitry Chunosov and Yaroslav Yevtushenko had asked the court in central Russia’s Lipetsk Region to overturn the registry office’s refusal as illegal. The Lipetsk court ruled that the registry office should have accepted the application, regardless of whether there were any impediments to conducting the marriage itself.

Five same-sex couples tried to submit marriage applications to the St. Petersburg registry office on June 28. They say the Family Code’s list of criteria for not marrying people makes no mention of same-sex couples.

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