- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 9, 2014

A lesbian couple married Friday in Saint Petersburg, Russia, forming what is seen by activists as the first gay marriage in the country where such unions are illegal.

The marriage is valid because one of the women was born male and is now transgender, activists told the Agence France-Presse.

“Formally it was a wedding between a man and a woman but de-facto it was between two women,” said Anna Anisimova, an activist with LGBT rights group Vykhod. “It was the first (LGBT wedding) in Russia. Both brides wore white dresses.”

Online pictures from the wedding showed the smiling couple signing official paperwork at a Russian civil registry office, AFP reported.

Officials at the registry did not attempt to stop the wedding, but one local lawmaker vowed to fight it.

“It’s an insult against thousands of Russian families. I intend to call for its annulment,” Vitaly Milonov told AFP.

Russia has cracked down on LGBT rights by passing a “gay propaganda” law last year that bans the distribution of information about homosexuality to children, reportedly leading to an increase in anti-gay violence in the country.

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