Russia to consider gay marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Russian politician has ignited an inquiry into the legality of gay marriage by the country’s constitutional court.

Straight member of the Bashkortostan State Assembly Edvard Murzin had an attempt to marry a gay activist rejected by Russia’s Supreme Court in February, but the law banning gay marriage may soon be changed after he appealed the decision.

Mr Murzin, a self proclaimed “champion of homosexual rights” told the Interfax-Povolzhje news agency, “I have received formal notification that the Court would consider my inquiry in a plenary session next May or June.”

Gay activist, Nikolai Alekseev, said: “Unfortunately the chances of such a scenario are close to nil.

“In the case of Mr. Murzin, his rights were not breached because he, being a heterosexual, never had any intention to register same-sex marriage and start a same-sex family.

“Moreover, his potential groom came to apply for marriage under pseudonym and even without passport which contradicts with the Russian family legislation and, actually, turned the marriage registration attempt into a farce.”

He added, “There is nothing to prevent the Constitutional Court from ruling that the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples is unconstitutional as there is no strict definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman in Russian Constitution.

“But in case of a negative decision in Murzin case, the door of court legalisation of same-sex marriages for real gay and lesbian couples in Russia will be firmly closed for a very long time. The consideration of Murzin’s complaint in the plenary meeting of Constitutional Court will most likely be technical.”

Bashkortostan is an oil and natural gas-rich state of the Russian Federation.