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Gay Marriage to Go Ahead in Russia

Published: June 6, 2014 (Issue # 1814)



  • Same sex couples in which one of the partners is a British national will now be able to wed at the consulate in St. Petersburg.
    Photo: Google Maps

A new measure by Britian's Foreign Office allows British nationals and their same-sex partners to tie the knot within Russia, but the mastermind behind Russia's so-called gay propaganda law Vitaly Milonov appeared unfazed, saying he would allow "monkeys and perverts" to be married as long as it did not concern Russians.

In a statement published Tuesday on its website, the British Foreign Office said its citizens would be able to register their same-sex marriage at consulates in 23 countries where gay marriage is not legal, including in Russia.

England and Wales legalized same-sex marriage in July 2013.

In the statement, the British Foreign Office said all countries on the list had agreed to the initiative, which went into force on June 3.

The Russian law banning the "promotion of non-traditional sexual relations" to minors was denounced in the West as an infringement on the rights of Russia's LGBT community.

Milonov, the St. Petersburg lawmaker who spearheaded the so-called gay propaganda bill that was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin last summer, on Wednesday dismissed the new initiative because it did not affect Russian citizens.

"The British consulates can do whatever they want," Milonov told The St. Petersburg Times. "They can marry monkeys and register perverts for all I care."

In addition to Russia, British same-sex couples will be able to marry in countries including Azerbaijan, Estonia, Latvia, China and Colombia.

In the United Kingdom, same-sex marriage only became legal in England and Wales on March 29 of this year. It will become legal in Scotland by the end of the year.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in “Downton Abbey” if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russia’s best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russia’s most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkin’s, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontov’s short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library System’s website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Club’s weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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