In 1975 in Helsinki a Cold War negotiation led to the Helsinki Accords, much derided at the time by various parties in various nations, but nevertheless ultimately officially signed on to by all the major parties of that now distant era, including the USA and the then existing USSR. Many did not take it seriously, including individuals in the US State Department as late as 1986, when at the Reykyavik, Iceland summit those who were legally engaged as were me and my now wife, Marina Rostislavna Vcherashnaya Rosser (not to be imprecise here, although there are alternative transliterations of her last name from the Cyrillic) were not supported by the US negotiaters, despite a personal promise made to me at the time by then Deputy Secretary of State, John Whitehead.
This would lead to me not too long after having a showdown with Thomas Simon, the Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, over this matter, after Whitehead's promise in front of a large group of people over this matter, with me holding a press conference in front of the State Department in which I publicly denounced both the US and USSR governments for conspiring to keep people legally engaged to marry from marrying, and my wife Marina and I had become legally engaged to marry on November 13, 1984 at 3 PM according to the Soviet Ministry of Marriages, "ZAGS." I crucially had a piece of paper documenting this, which did not happen because the Soviet government refused to let me have a visa to re-enter the country to marry her at that time, after having received the official permission to do so in writing at that time from ZAGS. We were unable to marry at the designated time, and my then legally designated fianceee, Marina, was subsequentlny fired from her job as a Senior Economist at the Institute for World Economy and International Relations (aka IMEMO). Only on April 4, 1987 would she be allowed to go to the US, with us marrying finally on May 24, 1987.
We were the first such marriage to be allowed after much personal suffering and international protest. We were the first to be approved,with the US State Department finally supporting us after protests by me and others. Our case rewrote the rules, although it would still take lovers to provide written evidence of their having been blocked from legally getting married abroad to receive US official approval and support officially as well as in Helsinki in 1975. Needless to say, we fully support the extension of this right to same sex couples, which the most recent court rulings appear to be about to allow such marriages to take place in Virginia. We look forward to celebrating with our friends who will be marrying soon here.