Russia’s Duma (or lower house parliament) has opted to ban changing gender procedures through legal or medical ways. The new legislation was approved on Friday, July, 14 and it will affect the transgender communities in many ways, beginning with the gender reassignment surgery.
The bill, which has already had its final reading, will prohibit doctors from “performing medical interventions designed to change the sex of a person,” and prescribing hormone therapy. In addition, transgender people will not be able to change their gender on identity documents even with medical certificates.
About the bill, Russia’s first transgender politician, Yulia Alyoshina, expressed her concerns saying that “once the bill becomes law, the repercussions will be harsh, as transgender individuals will be denied the right for medical care, which is constitutionally guaranteed.”
The legislation also prohibits transgender people from adopting, having, or fostering children. Similarly, marriages between trans people have also been banned and the restriction includes the invalidation of the union in case one of the couple decides to change their gender. About the new law, Duma spokesperson, Vyacheslav Volodin, stated that gender-change procedures are a “path to the degeneration of the nation” and said the law will protect children.
This is yet another hit to LGBTQI rights in Russia. It is not the first time these laws are passed in the country. For example. last December, Vladimir Putin approved a law to restrict “LGBT propaganda”, which banned any queer expression or representation in public and online places.