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Jan. 26 2018 - 16:01

Russia Accidentally Recognizes Gay Marriage, Couple Says

Pavel Stotsko and Yevgeny Voytsekhovsky

Pavel Stotsko and Yevgeny Voytsekhovsky

Pavel Stotsko / Facebook

Russia has recognized a same-sex marriage for the first time in what may be a legal loophole that was uncovered by a couple in Moscow.

Russia does not register same-sex marriages, however Russian family law recognizes marriages that were registered abroad if they do not “contradict article 14 of the Family Code.” That article bars marriages between close relatives and people who have already been registered as married but does not mention marriages between people of the same sex.

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Pavel Stotsko and Yevgeny Voytsekhovsky tied the knot in Copenhagen, where gay marriage is legal, earlier this month, before asking Russian officials to recognize their marriage certificate, the couple told the opposition-leaning Dozhd TV news channel.

A Moscow civil service staffer stamped their marital status page in their passport as married “without additional questions, or any change in his facial expression,” the couple told Dozhd TV on Thursday.

Moscow’s service center later denied registering the marriage.

“Employees of state service centers don’t stamp passports. Therefore, the information indicated in the news is false,” it said in an online statement later that day.

Dozhd TV cited Russian deputies as saying that the gay marriage loophole should be closed legislatively.

“There should be and could be no loopholes in the law,” the TV broadcaster cited Leonid Slutsky, head of the State Duma’s committee on international relations, as saying.

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