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Leon and Vladimir

"We are Christians and wanted to be married in a church, before God. We had to go to New York since same-sex marriage isn't recognized in Missouri."

Leon and Vladimir met in August of 2008 in Missouri.  Vladimir is Russian and was in the United States as a Fulbright Scholar teaching Russian at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri.  Leon lived in Nixa, Missouri (he is a fourth generation Missourian on both his mother and father's side of the family). They dated for two years before getting engaged on Valentine's Day in 2010 on the top of the Empire State Building in NYC.  Vladimir enrolled as a graduate student at Missouri State University in Springfield so Vladimir could stay in the country with Leon until the federal government recognized their marriage. They were married on 11/11/11 at Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City.  

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