A Russian lesbian couple will marry in Canada today and then attempt to force their native country to recognise their marriage.

Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko attempted to marry in Russia in May but were turned away from their local registry office.

On October 6th, the Tverskoi District Court ruled that they could not marry as Russian law states marriage is between a man and a woman.

They arrived in Canada, where gay marriage is legal, yesterday and will marry in Toronto later today.

They then hope to use a loophole in Russian law which recognises marriages from abroad but does not specify the gender of couples.

Fedotova-Fet and Shipitko plan to fly back to Russia on Tuesday in the hope of forcing authorities to recognise their marriage certificate.

They say they will take the case to the European Human Rights Commission if turned down.

The couple will hold a press conference later today with their lawyer, Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseev.

Speaking to the Toronto Star, Shipitko said: “All we wanted was to be together … married like any other heterosexual couple. It took a long while, but it’s finally going to happen.”