Police are after Russia’s first legally married gay couple

Facebook/Pavel Stotsko

The Russian LGBT Network posted on Facebook that the country’s first legally-recognized gay married couple is being pursued by police.

The message was posted several hours ago, and it says that the apartment of Eugene Wojciechowski and Pavel Stotsko, whose marriage in Denmark was registered in Moscow earlier this week, is currently surrounded by police.

“The police does not state the reasons of their appearance,” the LGBT organization, known for helping gay and bi men escape from Chechnya, wrote. “Right now they cut off the electricity and internet connection.”

The report comes after Pavel told the radio station Svoboda yesterday that police visited his parents’ home searching for him and that his relatives have been getting threatening phone calls.

Earlier this month, Eugene and Pavel got married in Denmark. Last week, the registry office in Moscow stamped their passports, validating their marriage. The Russian Family Code does not explicitly forbid the recognition of foreign, same-sex marriages.

Their story was reported by many news outlets in Russia, a country where 74% do not believe that homosexuality is acceptable.

One television channel, Rain TV, required visitors to their site to confirm that they are over 18 to watch an interview with the couple. The video is just three adults discussing the legal issues at a table, something that isn’t remotely obscene outside of the context of virulent homophobia.

“Content corresponds to the age category 18+. Are you at least 18?”

Interior Minister Vitaly Milonov said yesterday that the legislature will “urgently” pass legislation to close this legal loophole, comparing Eugene and Pavel’s marriage to marrying farm animals.

Later, the Ministry declared their passports invalid.

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