A Russian lesbian couple appealed to the European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday after a registry office in Moscow declined to register their same-sex marriage.
When Irina Fet and Irina Shipitko, who have tried to get married since 2009, were turned away, it hardly came as a surprise in a country where the crime of homosexuality was removed from the books in 1993, and where homophobia remains high and often turns to violence.
"A complaint [on same-sex marriage] was lodged against Russia," gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev said.
"We admit that the Russian law system [currently] forbids same-sex marriage but we hope that after the European Court's ruling, our country will be obliged to change its laws," he said.
Alexeyev said that in rejecting to register the marriage, the Tverskoi registry office in Moscow violated Articles 8 and 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
He said he was confident of a positive outcome and referred to a recent Strasbourg Court ruling over a complaint from an Austrian same-sex couple.
"The Court acknowledged that same-sex marriages are protected under Article 8 of the European Convention and Article 12 doesn't cover just heterosexual marriages," he said.
MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti)
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