Gay couple marry in Ukraine, look forward to legal recognition

A gay couple has married in Ukraine, despite that the country does not legally recognise their union.

Tymur Levchuk and Zoryan Kis are believed to be the first gay couple to have tied the knot in the country.

The couple said they didn’t want to have to wait for Ukraine to legalise same-sex marriage so took their vows on 9 April in Kyiv.

“We decided that we’d register our marriage in Ukraine when it becomes possible,” Kis told the Kyiv Post.

The couple got engaged a year ago on the banks of Synevyr Lake.

“It was a romantic evening… I felt like we are alone in the world, so I proposed to Tymur, and he said yes,” Kis went on.

Officially the couple have entered into a commitment ceremony, reports the paper, but the couple consider their union to be a marriage.

The couple are also hopeful that Ukraine will soon legally recognise their marriage.

Both Kis and Levchuk are LGBT activists, and have fought discrimination in the country.

The couple say their activism has brought them together.

Despite small steps toward equality, public displays in favour of LGBT rights are often met with violent protests.

The organisers of an LGBT festival in the Ukrainian city of Lviv were last month forced to call off the event as a far-right group surrounded the venue.

Chanting “kill, kill, kill”, the aggressive demonstrators surrounded the venue, and threw stones, meaning the event was called off.