Russian lesbians Irina Fedotova-Fet, 30, and her partner Irina Shipitko, 32, twice denied a marriage in their country, arrived in Toronto Thursday and are getting married Friday.

“All we wanted was to be together … married like any other heterosexual couple,” said Fedotova-Fet in Russian. “It took a long while but it’s finally going to happen.”

In May, their request was turned down almost immediately by the Moscow State Registry Office, on the grounds that the Russian Family Code only permits marriage between a man and a woman. That decision was upheld by the Tverskoi District Court Oct. 6. But Russian law recognizes international marriages, and doesn’t specifically require spouses married abroad to be different sexes.

The two women will get married at City Hall and plan to head back to Russia Tuesday, where they will try to get their Canadian marriage licence recognized.

The two Irinas are staying with volunteers from EGALE, who will host a private reception for the newlyweds Friday night. It will be attended by locals who fought Canada’s same-sex marriage battle.

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