18 March 2015

Gay Wedding in Russia? Not Really

Russian Wedding
Can a woman marry a woman in a country where same-sex marriage is not allowed? It looked like it has happened in Russia, but it is not what it appears to be.

Meet Alison Brooks (on the left), who married Alina Davis (right). Can they do this in a place where everyone rightfully agree that any form of homosexuality is a mental iillness?

The answer is simple when you really dig up the real story behind the bride ... err, the groom. The 23-year-old Alina was born a man named Dmitry Kozhukhov. She labels herself as "androgyne," which means she doesn't fit neatly into one gender identity, goes around wearing women’s clothes every day, but because her birth certificate lists her as a man, the Russian authorities couldn’t refuse them their marriage certificate or their right to marry.

"We had no problems when we handed in the application to the registry office although we had expected a complaint or something but they didn’t say anything," Davis told the Mirror. "But then the head of the registry office called several times, telling us that they didn’t want us to turn up both in wedding dresses. He said marriages in Russia were between a man and a woman and nobody else."

That may be, but there are no rules against men wearing dresses — or looking nearly identical to their brides — so the ceremony still took place in the Kutuzovsky Prospekt registry office in Moscow. Both Brooks and Davis wore white wedding dresses. While the two were refused entry through the front door and had to enter through the rear entrance instead, they still got married.

Davis thinks this is a big moment for couples in Russia. "We are not alone in having such problems," she says. "I have written to couples who are planning similar marriages and are afraid of failures with registration. Be aware – you cannot be refused."

Davis is right. Nobody will be refused as long as the couples were biologically classified as members of opposite gender.