First married Russian gay couple runs away from the country

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Eugene Wojciechowski and Pavel Stotsko tied the knot on January 4 in Copenhagen, Denmark, in matching bow-ties. They did not expect that their marriage would be approved in Russia, but miracles happen. However their happiness did not last long and they were charged with ‘damaging’ their passports with the stamps about marriage. On Monday, police came to the couple’s flat on the outskirts of Moscow – after first trying Stotsko’s parents’ home – and tried to break down the door. They blocked the exits, barring anyone from going in or out, and switched off the lights and internet for several hours, according to the Russian LGBT Network. Wojciechowski and Stotsko were told they could not leave their home unless they gave up their passports, and that if they tried to do so, they would be charged with resisting the police. Authorities also let the couple know that if, hypothetically, any anti-gay people or organisations took violent actions against them, the police could do nothing to help, so the only way out for them is to go out literally. Friends and fans have posted photos and messages online to show their support for the couple, with a couple of hashtags being created for activists.

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