May 13, 2009
According to the New York Times, on Tuesday, Irina Fedotova and Irina Shipitko went to a marriage registration office in Moscow on Tuesday and tried to become Russia's first married lesbian couple. The unsurprising response from the official at the registration office was dry and unequivocal. “According to article 12 of the family codex, for a marriage to be sanctioned it is necessary to have the mutual and voluntary agreement of a man and a woman.”
Both women said they had expected their marriage application to be rejected and said they would appeal the decision. They also wanted to bring more attention to gay rights in Russia while the Eurovision contest is going on and there is more media attention to be had.
In the meantime, the Irinas have decided to marry in Canada, where they can do so legally, but said they would return to Russia and hopefully serve as an example to other gay couples and to Russian society.
Best of luck, ladies!