running late

These 2 Lesbians Screwed Russia’s Marriage Fight By Showing Up to Court Late

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They say homos run on GST (Gay Standard Time), which explains why they’re always late to join you at the latest art house flick, for a shopping date at Dior, or your colonic appointment. But you would’ve thought a certain pair of gay women could’ve got their act together when it came to showing up in a Moscow courtroom on time to argue they’re entitled to a marriage license.

Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko were supposed to appear before Judge Natalya Zhuravlyova in a hearing about whether being denied a marriage license violated law. In May, they applied for a marriage license in Moscow, but were refused; the women argue Russian law does not forbid same-sex marriage, though a lower court disagreed.

But en route to their court date, they say, they got stuck in traffic and made it to the courtroom 10 minutes after the hearing ended. The judge didn’t think that was a good enough excuse, and postponed it until Sept. 9, a date the Irinas’ attorney Nikolai Alexeyev says he cannot make.

Fittingly, the Irinas are pissed. They and Alexeyev say it’s homophobia that’s behind the judge’s lack of patience. “There is enough homophobia in this country,” said Shipitko. “We are no different from any other couple.” Inside the courtroom, their attorney argued against the postponement.

Was the judge being a dick by not excusing their slight tardiness? Yes, likely. But also: Judges, often, are dicks. Even in America! If they’re having an off day, they will find any reason to torment you. This is a job perk.

Is the judge making things harder for the Irinas because he’s anti-gay? Maybe! Russia isn’t exactly known for supporting the gays, and Moscow in particular arrests people when they celebrate gay pride.

And yet, we can’t help but fault the ladies for arriving late. We get it: traffic sucks. But also, you two are on a crusade for marriage rights in Russia. Don’t give the state any excuse to rebuff your argument. You’re going to hit plenty more roadblocks on this legal journey, and giving the courts a reason to dismiss you, on a technicality, isn’t a winning strategy.