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Eduard Murzin and Ed Mishin have filed for a marriage certificate from a Moscow registration office


Ed Mishin, head of the Russian National GLBT Center Together and Eduard Murzin, Russian Deputy

Ed Mishin, head of the Russian National GLBT Center "Together" and Eduard Murzin, Russian Deputy

17/01/2005. Edvard Murzin, Russian Deputy and Ed Mishin, head of the Russian National GLBT Center "Together" and chief editor of the Russian gay magazine KVIR, have filed for a marriage certificate from a Moscow registration office.

A deputy in the Bashkortostan republican legislature in central Russia, Edvard Murzin, well-known for his human rights initiatives, and the chief editor of KVIR monthly publication for gays and lesbians, Ed Mishin, have attempted today to register their marriage in Butyrskyi registration office in Moscow. This civil action is the first serious grass-roots attempt to draw attention of Russian media, politicians and Russian citizens to the social status of gays and lesbians.

At the same time Mishin and Murzin aim to mobilize Russian LGBT community and encourage more well-considered actions to defend rights, which gay and bisexual people lack in the Russian Federation. This is, first of all, the right to be married (and thus to create a family and raise children).

The major goal of the deputy and the journalist is to take care about social problems of the Russian citizens with sexual orientation other than so called "traditional" one (which is 5 to 10 percent according to open sources). People with alternate sexual preferences equally participate in Russia's life, its cultural and economic development. At the same time they lack fundamental human rights, such as the right to create a family and protect mutually created individual as well as legitimate property; the right to receive aid when one's partner dies or gets killed in a military action, in an accident etc.

Current legislation, full of complicated legal aspects, makes regulation of same-sex couples' issues a hassle, discriminating around 16,5 million Russian citizens.

Edvard and Ed believe that the existing family code of the RF contradicts the Constitution of Russia and with the fundamental Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948, as it protects interests of one group, ignoring rights of others.

In early 2004 Murzin began campaigning for the legalization of homosexual marriages, initiating amendments to the Bashkortostan family legislation. He tried to amend the legal definition of marriage, which by law is entered into by mutual consent of a man and a woman, insisting it should be "by mutual consent of citizens". The lawmakers rejected his amendment. On Dec 20, 2004 the Supreme Court of the RF also officially refused to take up Murzin's case against Russian State Duma on legalization of same-sex marriages.

But the registration office has said it will refuse to issue a marriage certificate in ten days, because same-sex marriages are unlawful in Russia according to the article 12 of the Family Code. The document stating the refusal will become a basis for consecutive court cases (regional; constitutional; ECHR).

"Echo of Moscow", prominent Moscow's radio station, conducted a poll on this issue. Of 4800 participants, only 30% support the idea of same sex marriages. "The struggle is just coming up", - commented Ed Mishin.

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