Russian deputies pass law against transgender people

Russian deputies overwhelmingly approved on Friday a law that prohibits gender transitions and, in particular, the adoption of children by transsexuals, in the midst of an ultra-conservative turn in Russian society.

“This decision protects our citizens, our children,” the speaker of the Lower House of Parliament (Duma), Viacheslav Volodin, said on Telegram.

Marital status changes, sex reassignment surgery, and hormone treatments had become accessible in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.

In a statement published on Friday, the Duma specified that the text prohibits “all medical intervention” for gender reassignment, in particular surgical operations and hormonal therapies. The change of sex in identity documents is also prohibited.

The text provides for exceptions, under evaluation by a special commission, that allow these surgical interventions in cases of “congenital anomalies” in children during the formation of their genitals.

Transgender people will also be banned from having or adopting children in Russia. Finally, marriages involving a transgender person will be “annulled” after the entry into force of the law, the Duma specifies.

The bill was approved in the third and final reading and now must be validated by the Upper House of Parliament, the Federation Council, and then signed by President Vladimir Putin to enter into force, stages that are generally mere formalities.

Since the offensive against Ukraine began, the authorities have multiplied conservative measures, especially against LGBT+, arguing that they want to eliminate behaviors that they consider deviant and imported from the West.

To justify this bill, Volodin said on Friday that gender reassignment surgeries had skyrocketed in the United States in the past ten years.

“What a monstrous trend! It is a path that leads to the degeneration of a nation. It is unacceptable for us,” Volodin said.

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Russian security services (FSB) detained a transgender activist accused of “high treason” for the benefit of Ukraine on Thursday.

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