Vitaly Milonov, the lawmaker behind Russia’s controversial ‘anti-gay propaganda’ legislation, has condemned a same-sex wedding that took place in St. Petersburg, saying he will seek to annul the marriage between two women, one of whom was born a man.
“I will categorically demand the dissolution of the marriage,” said Milonov, the deputy of the St. Petersburg legislative assembly. “With the help of the Prosecutor’s Office, we will seek to prevent such antics, an ugly insult to millions of Russian families in the future.”
Gay marriage is illegal in Russia, but the couple in question, Irina Shumilova and Alyona Fursova, were not denied a wedding ceremony on account of a legal loophole: according to their identity cards the former is a man, the latter a woman.
Last Friday, the pair arrived at a register office in St. Petersburg, both wearing traditional white bridal dresses and holding bouquets. Shumilova, who has been described as transsexual, is currently undergoing sex reassignment and hormone therapy treatment.
The newlywed couple are confident that Milonov will not find formal grounds to annul the marriage. However, Shumilova realises that once sex reassignment is complete, she will officially become a woman, resulting in the annulment of their union.
“We understand that our actions will cause consequences,” Shumilova told Metro. “But after the final change of all my documents, we will probably not be able to realize our dream and stay married officially – at least in the Russian Federation.”
Milonov has already contacted the register office, seeking to annul the marriage immediately. “I warned the director that this is criminal negligence. They should have called nurses from Kashchenko [psychiatric hospital] with straightjackets and put the newlyweds into separate wards instead of a marital bed,” the deputy is quoted as saying. "There are certain moral standards which it is vital to implement. These mad people should be banned altogether from getting married."