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13 Mar, 2024 22:43

Russian lesbian couple fails to get divorced

A court has thrown out the case, suggesting the couple should “go to Copenhagen” where they originally married
Russian lesbian couple fails to get divorced

A magistrates’ court in the Russian city of St. Petersburg has thrown out a divorce case filed by a lesbian couple, ruling that it has no merit under the country’s laws.

The case revolved around a lesbian couple, identified only as Ekaterina and Elizaveta, who got married in 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark, the chief spokeswoman of St. Petersburg courts, Daria Lebedeva, revealed on Wednesday. The marriage has fallen apart, and Ekaterina filed for divorce as her spouse refused to grant it.

The case, however, has stalled, as the magistrates’ court refused to hear it at all, citing Russian law, Lebedeva wrote in a Telegram post. Namely, the court pointed out that Russia views matrimony solely as the union between a man and a woman, while foreign marriage rights can be applied only if they do not contravene Russian legislation.

“Girls, go to Copenhagen,” Lebedeva concluded.

Recognition of gay marriage in Russia has been a hot topic for LGBTQ activists for years. While unions have been forged abroad in countries that enable them they are not recognized at home. However, gay couples have repeatedly tried to have their unions recognized in Russia using various technicalities and loopholes.

Support for traditional marriage was further reinforced by Russia’s 2020 constitutional reform, which unequivocally defined “matrimony as a union between a man and a woman” and vowed to protect it.

Over the past few years, Russia has gradually tightened its legislation aimed at countering the spread of so-called “LGBT ideology.” In 2013, it outlawed the dissemination of such propaganda among minors, a measure that was extended to adults in 2022.

Last November, Russia’s Supreme Court outlawed the “international LGBT public movement” as an extremist group, ruling it has been sowing “social and religious discord.” Earlier this month, the “international LGBT public movement” was added to the Justice Ministry’s list of banned organizations.