Russia Brings Charges Against Gay Couple Whose Marriage They Accidentally Recognized

 
 

Employee Who Recognized Marriage to be Fired

The Russian Federation is reportedly bringing charges against Yevgeny Voytsekhovsky and Pavel Stotzko after a government official accidentally recognized their same-sex marriage.

The couple was married in Copenhagen, Denmark in early January, Newsweek reported, “and upon returning to their home country, the couple asked Russian officials to recognize their marriage certificate.”

Rather than rejecting the request, an “official worker stamped the marital status page on their passports without any questions,” they continued. It was a landmark given Russia’s notoriously dangerous culture of homophobia and the fact that same-sex marriage is illegal in the country.

Now, however, things appear to have changed. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, the Independent reported, “the press office of the Moscow Department of the Interior has announced the two men now face charges regarding their documentation.”

The outlet detailed the press office’s response:

“With respect to men who initiated marking in their passports of citizens of the Russian Federation not provided for by the current legislation, cases were brought about administrative offences provided for in Article 19.16 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation,” it announced.

Article 19.16 of the Administrative Code on 'deliberate damage to documents' entails a warning or an administrative fine in the amount of 100 to 300 rubles," Interfax reported.

The same troubling accounts also hit Twitter:

According to another Russian outlet, the newlyweds’ passports “will be canceled.” That’s according to Irina Volk, the official representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. "Passports of these citizens are included in the federal database of invalid passports.”

The outlet further noted “that after the stamp was stamped, an official check was organized, which would result in the dismissal of the employee who committed the violation of the law and her supervisor.”

According to The Moscow Times, Moscow has also officially denied reports that they recognized the marriage. “Employees of state service centers don’t stamp passports,” an official told the outlet. “Therefore, the information indicated in the news is false.”