Same-sex proposal stirs controversy in Daghestan

22 August 2023
Laurita Karpova and her partner during their proposal photoshoot. Image via social media.

A Russian reality TV star and her partner have come under fire for sharing a video of their marriage proposal in Daghestan. The couple are under investigation in Daghestan for allegedly breaching federal anti-gay laws.

Laurita Karpova, known for taking part in Tomboys (‘patsanki’), a Russian reality TV show, posted videos and photos of her wedding ceremony to her female partner, allegedly in Daghestan.

The video, which appears to have been shot in the republic’s western Sulak Canyon, sees Karpova and her partner drinking champagne with their arms intertwined and later kissing. 

Karpova’s claim to fame is her appearance on season six of Tomboys, a TV Friday reality show in which women deemed not feminine enough by the showmakers are taught ‘etiquette and self-care’ and to ‘develop intelligence and empathy’. 

Dagestanskiye Isvestia, a Daghestani Telegram channel, reported that Karpova made her social media accounts private after her posts went viral in the republic.

On 21 August, Sultan Khamzayev, an MP in the Daghestani parliament, claimed that he had submitted an inquiry into the ceremony to Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs on grounds of violating Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws.

The law, adopted in 2022, effectively bans any content produced featuring ‘LGBT  propaganda, pedophilia, and gender reassignment’ in advertising, books, films, and other media.


Same-sex marriage is also not recognised in Russia, whose legislation and constitution define marriage as a union between man and woman.

In his appeal to the Prosecutor General, Khamzayev argued that Karpova’s ‘behaviour appears especially provocative in Daghestan, where the public has a sharply negative attitude towards all kinds of such perversions’.

Daghestan’s own Interior Ministry launched an investigation into the proposal on Monday evening.

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