Russia appears to have recognized a gay marriage by sending a tax return to a prominent LGBT+ rights activist who had married his husband in the USA,.
This is at least the second time Russian officials have unintentionally recognized a gay marriage due to a legal loophole in the country’s family law.
Russian LGBT Network director Igor Kochetkov said he received a tax deduction from Russia’s Federal Tax Service on his husband’s behalf earlier this month.
“The state made this tax deduction and has thus recognized our marriage,” Kochetkov wrote on Facebook on the three-year anniversary of his marriage to fellow activist Kirill Fyodorov.
Russia does not register same-sex marriages. However, Russian family law recognizes marriages that were registered abroad as long as they aren’t between close relatives or people who are already registered as married.
“Since neither of us is in another marriage, we’re not close relatives, adoptive parents or adopted children… our marriage is recognized in Russia,” Kochetkov wrote.
In 2018, a Moscow civil service stamped the marital status page of a gay couple who tied the knot in Denmark. The civil service later denied registering the marriage and the couple has since fled Russia after facing threats.