A lesbian couple has kissed in protest outside a Moscow court after arriving late for a hearing on a legal bid to marry.

Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko arrived 10 minutes after the case had been postponed, saying that they were stuck in traffic. Because of their lateness, the case was rescheduled to September 9.

The women proceeded to kiss in front of the cameras to protest the county’s homophobic stance on gay marriage. Although, homosexuality has been decriminalized in Russia, Pride events have been repeatedly banned by Moscow’s mayor, who has called homosexuality “satanic”, and same-sex unions are not recognised.

“There is enough homophobia in this country. We are no different from any other couple,” Shipitko told AP.

The couple applied in May to get married at the Moscow registry office to much publicity, but this was refused. They argued that Russian law does not forbid such a union, but a court ruled the refusal was legal. Their complaint against this ruling had been set to be heard Wednesday.

The couple plans to fly to Toronto in October to hold their wedding ceremony as gay marriage is legal in Canada. They have said they would then fight for Russian authorities to recognise the marriage.

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