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Lesbian Couple Flees Russia for Asylum in Argentina

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Friday Jul 18, 2014

Afraid for their safety in a country with a growing antipathy toward gays, a Russian lesbian couple is now seeking asylum in Argentina for themselves and their teenage son.

Gay Star News reports that the couple, 38-year-old Marina Mironova and 36-year-old Oxana Tomofeeva wore matching outfits as they married in Buenos Aires City Civil Registry on July 15.

They said that being a lesbian couple in a country with increasing hostility toward the LGBT community had made them fear for their safety and that of their 16-year-old son. They noted that they have had to move three times, have experienced homophobic abuse from neighbors, and Mironova said that she was fired from her job as a schoolteacher because of her sexuality. They now want to leave Russia altogether.

"There's nowhere left to run in Russia. The main reason we came to Argentina is because I have a son and we wanted to protect him," said Mironova. "We simply want to live as a family, to not be afraid anymore, and to continue raising our son."

The couple chose Argentina because of their laws regarding same-sex marriage. Claudia CastrosĂ­n VerdĂș, vice-president of Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transsexuals said, "It's very symbolic for us that two Russian women marry today in Argentina, where the law guarantees them legal equality and the right to be who they are."

The Buenos Aires Herald reports that the women's marriage will allow them to apply for asylum in Argentina with the National Commission for Refugees.

The National Commission of Refugees will have 20 days to review the women's case. If their application is successful, they will join the likes of Russian nationals Alexander Eremeev and Dimitri Zaytsev, who EDGE reported were married in the same office in February and are among a growing community of LGBT refugees in from Russia living in Argentina.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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