Russian Orthodox church defrocks priest over gay wedding
October 6, 2003
MOSCOW — The Russian Orthodox Church has defrocked a priest for
performing what media reports said was the country's first gay
wedding in a church.
The church's Holy Synod ruled Monday to defrock the Rev.
Vladimir Enert for the wedding, which it called "blasphemy against
the sacrament," the church said on its web site.
The September 1 wedding of Denis Gogolev and Mikhail Morozov in the
Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod was reported in the popular
daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, complete with photographs of the
ceremony. The church said the paper's reporter helped arrange the
wedding by convincing another priest to give her the keys to the
The Holy Synod ruled to bar the second priest, the Rev. Mikhail
Kabanov, from leading services, saying he was an accomplice. The
church said the reporter, posing as a bride, had approached Kabanov
with a young man, saying they needed to use the church for a
wedding that the woman's parents opposed.
Gay sex was a crime in the Soviet Union, and homosexuality
remains taboo in Russia, among churchgoers and nonbelievers alike. –Sapa-AFP
Russian Orthodox church bars priest for gay wedding