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Gay couple denied marriage in Moscow

Oct. 6, 2009 at 9:51 AM

MOSCOW, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- A Russian couple plan to marry in Canada now that a Russian court has denied their request to marry as a same-sex couple in Moscow, authorities said.

Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko plan to marry Oct. 23 in Toronto, where same-sex marriages are legal throughout Canada, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

Their marriage application was rejected by Moscow's registry office and an appeals court, both of which said marriage in Russia is the union of a man and a woman, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

Fedotova-Fet and Shipitko had argued there is no ban on same-sex marriages in the Russian Constitution or family law.

While homosexuality no longer is a crime in Russia, there is little public support for gay rights. Moscow has never allowed a gay pride parade or gay rights demonstration, which the mayor once called "satanic," RIA Novosti reported.

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