I beleive that in 10-15 years gay marriages will be celebrated in Armenia without being considered as a phenomenon.
Misha, founder of AGLA France, speaking to GayRussia.ru one year ago
19 June 2006, Echmiadzin (Armenia’s ‘Vatican’)
Misha: On June 19, we came to the Cathedral. I asked Arnaud [Harut] if he accepts to be the man of my life for the best and the worst, until the death separates us. I knew the answer, but it was still a very nervous moment. We kissed each other after exchanging the rings that we had prepared for each other in secrecy. That's how I became a married man. It was a very memorable day. (GayRussia.ru)
It was the first same-sex marriage in Armenia reported by electronic (here and here) and printed press (168 zham).
“When we met we didn’t know that we would build a relationship,” Misha recalled in ArmeniaNow.com. “Later we fell in love with each other so much that neither I nor he was able to work.”
They met through AGLA France (Association of Gay and Lesbian Armenians), organisation founded by Misha.
Marrying by church was Harut’s preference: “I am an Armenian and that’s why I want to get married in Armenia, and as my family taught me, I wanted it to be in church.” (ArmeniaNow.com)
As Vahan Ishkhanyan from ArmeniaNow.com reported:
Of course, it was a symbolic ceremony, as the Armenian Apostolic Church does not condone gay marriages. They exchanged rings in the church and staged a small wedding party at a restaurant with Misha’s mother and their friends. They came from Paris especially to exchange vows in Echmiadzin.
Misha: I don't care if the church or the public opinion in Armenia approve our marriage. What counts for me is that we decided to celebrate our love in a symbolic way, in a symbolic place. And we did it. We did it for us, first of all. (GayRussia.ru)
Harut is a jeweller and he made the Misha's ring and engraved inside in Armenian: "Love and faithfulness." (ArmeniaNow.com)
Source of picture: GayArmenia.com (for photo report of wedding, visit here)
Today Harut and Misha celebrate their 1st anniversary. Congratulations, guys!!! You did it! You did it the way you wanted it to be despite all ‘legal’ and other obstacles.
It was exciting year for you, with its ups and downs, a happy year. I wish you keep up with that sparkle! ;)
…in the name of love
I hope this example will inspire more Armenian gay and lesbian couples to tie the knot, whether in a symbolic or legally recognised ceremony. I hope that in time same-sex unions would be recognised by Armenian state and gay wedding ceremonies would be so routine, that I would not need to write about them in my blog. Till then… if there are other Armenian gay and lesbian couples out there who tied the knot – be that marriage, civil union or a symbolic ceremony, and want to share their experience, please do keep in touch – this blog would be more than happy to feature your stories.