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Russia Is Now Cracking Down on the Gay Couple Whose Marriage They Accidentally Recognized

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Lest you think that Russia was becoming too LGBTQ friendly with its recent recognition of a gay couple married abroad, the Eur-Asian country has since charged the couple with a crime after ”raiding” their home. The country is also trying to invalidate their passports and has promised to fire the two civil servants who recognized their marriage. Not just that, but Russia’s weirdly denying that they ever recognized the Russian gay couple’s marriage in the first place.

You may recall that the Russian same-sex couple of Eugene Wojciechowski and Pavel Stotsko got married in Copenhagen, Denmark on Jan. 4, 2018. When they returned to Russia, a Moscow civil employee stamped their passports with an official government confirmation of their marriage. The entire thing took less than five minutes and the couple posted proof of the government passport stamp on social media (below).

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Wojciechowski and Stotsko’s passports with a government stamp recognizing their marriage

In a public Facebook post posted by Stotsko on Jan. 27, 2018, he said that Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs sent the Russian gay couple a letter saying that their passport has been added to a list of invalid passports. This letter came after police “sieged” their home and reportedly helped cut off their electricity and internet connection, according to the Russia LGBT Network.

Stotsko also reported that on the morning of Jan. 26, 2018, police visited his parents’ home asking where he was. He believes police hoped to confiscate the passports, but since they couldn’t find them, they tried to invalidate them via letter.

Stotsko also adds that he and his parents have received threats via phone and social since news of Russia recognizing his marriage went viral. The Russia LGBT Network has reportedly helped the men relocate to safe location.

URGENT! PLEASE SHARE! Right now, the police officers are trying to break into the apartment where two homosexual men –…

Posted by Russian LGBT Network on Saturday, January 27, 2018

Russian authorities reportedly charged the gay couple with “deliberate damage to documents,” a crime that could get them a warning or a fine of 100 to 300 rubles ($2 to $5).

Another Russian outlet reported that a spokesman from the Ministry of Internal Affairs has pledged to fire the civil workers who stamped their passports. Weirdly, the office that stamped their passports has since said in an online statement, “Employees of state service centers don’t stamp passports. Therefore, the information indicated in the news is false.”