Social Issues

Russian lawmakers vote to ban gender reassignment

Moscow, Jul 14 (EFE).- The Russian parliament’s Lower House or State Duma on Friday approved a legislation to ban legal and surgical gender reassignment, a move that has raised alarm among the transgender community in the country.

The bill was passed unanimously in its third and final reading banning medical interventions- both surgery and hormone therapy- aimed at changing the sex of a person as well as the change of gender in government-issued documents.

The legislation will now need approval from the upper house before it can be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

“This decision will protect our citizens and children. Think about it: There have been 50 times more gender reassignment operations in the United States over the past 10 years,” chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said on Telegram.

“This is the path leading to the degeneration of the nation. This is unacceptable for us,” he said.

According to the Russian Health Ministry, at least 996 people had requested a change of gender in the country in 2022.

Some members of the transgender community in Russia, who fear further repression, decided to leave the country.

“As the first transgender politician in Russia, I can say that this law is not only discriminatory, but also prohibits the very existence of trans people in Russia. It is a genocide against transgender people,” Yulia Alioshina, who contested the governor’s elections in the Siberian region of Altai, told EFE in June.

Maxim, a trans person who works at the T Center, an organization advocating trans rights in Russia, has already planned “to immigrate to Spain.”

“Russia is degrading rapidly. Those who were planning to have (sex change) surgery, will have to get it done on their own” he said.

According to the legislation, a medical commission will determine a list of the allowed medical interventions, which will only include treatment of “congenital anomalies, genetic and endocrine diseases associated with impaired formation of the genital organs in children.”

As per the bill, those who have changed their sex are no longer allowed to adopt children or to be their guardians.

The bill also seeks the annulment of marriages where one of the partners has undergone gender reassignment.

The Russian constitutional reform that was introduced in 2020 establishes marriage to be exclusively a union between a man and a woman.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had said the time that as long as he is president there would be no gay marriages in Russia.

The new legislation also prohibits change of gender in all government-issued documents.

“All certificates of gender reassignment, according to which a person has had an operation, but has not yet changed his passport, will be canceled,” the State Duma wrote on its news portal.

The change of sex in official documents had been allowed in Russia since 1997, even if a person had not undergone a sex change operation.

Between 2018 and 2022, more than 2,700 Russians changed their sex on their official documents, leading to nearly 200 marriages.

The State Duma also adopted a resolution asking the government to recognize “sexual preference disorders, including transsexualism, cross-dressing and pedophilia, as a disease.” EFE

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