A lesbian couple will attempt to apply for a marriage licence in the Russian capital later this month, even though they expect their application to be turned down.

Irina Fet, one of the organisers of Moscow’s Pride parade, made the announcement at a press conference for the event. “We have loved each other for a while now and we want it to be officially recognised,” she told journalists.

“We believe that we have the same rights as any other citizen for happiness. Our love is not different.”

Nikolai Alekseev, the chief organiser of Pride and the couple’s legal advisor, has said that if the couple’s application is denied they will go abroad to marry. “Canada and Norway are the only countries which opened same sex marriage to non- residents,” he told

Gay rights activists explained that their intention is to take their fight for same-sex marriage right up to the European Court of Human Rights, “both on the right to marry in Russia and on the recognition of a foreign marriage in Russia”.

While homosexuality has been legal in Russia since 1993, authorities in Moscow have refused to allow a Pride event to take place in the city since 2006. Activists plan to hold a Pride parade in Moscow on May 16, whether they are given permission or not.

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