Same-sex marriage in the United States and Russia: approaches to regulation through the prism of judicial interpretation

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Author: Chueva Daria

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2018-3-92-102

Keywords: гражданские партнёрства; однополые браки; права сексуальных меньшинств; судебное толкование


In 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a historical decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. This decision is part of a series of many similar decisions made in recent years in different countries, primarily in Western Europe. In recent years, the attitude of society and public authorities regarding this issue has undergone significant changes in different countries of the world. It is interesting that sometimes it was the judiciary who had to be the first to speak on this issue, expressing the general tendencies that are taking place in society. However, there are still many countries that do not yet follow this trend. This includes Russia, which continues to reject any form of same-sex unions – a position that was reflected in the decision No.24-P of Russia’s Constitutional Court from September 23, 2014. Russia belongs to a group of countries in which no form of same-sex unions is provided for by law, and marriage is treated solely as an alliance between persons of different sexes. The author analyzes the evolution and current status of same-sex marriages in the United States and Russia, putting emphasis on the importance of judicial decisions for reflecting certain tendencies in state and society. The first part of article concerns the general characteristic of same-sex marriage in the world, while the second part provides analysis of this problem in the United States and Russia, with particular emphasis on arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. At the same time, the author notes that this difference in the recognition of same-sex marriages in the United States and Russia is largely due to different understandings of the concept of the family. The conclusion points to the possibility of using other instruments for regulating this issue. As an example, the author cites the institution of civil partnerships, which is given a brief analysis.

About the author: Chueva Daria – Master student, Department of Constitutional and Municipal Law, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Chueva D. (2018) Odnopolye braki v SShA i Rossii: podkhody k regulirovaniyu skvoz’ prizmy sydebnogo tolkovaniya [Same-sex marriage in the United States and Russia: approaches to regulation through the prism of judicial interpretation] Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol.27, no.3, pp.92–102. (In Russian).


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