Russia is moving to ban transgender sex change surgeries and gender changes on identity cards in a national effort to promote ‘traditional values’ across Russian society.
The legislation is set for a second reading of three this week after gaining initial approval in the lower house of parliament in June.
The only surgical operations permitted will be to treat intersex “congenital physiological anomalies” among children with the approval from special medical commissions or public health care institutions.
“We are preserving Russia for posterity, with its cultural and family values, traditional foundations, and putting up a barrier to the penetration of Western anti-family ideology,” announced deputy chairman of the lower house, Pyotr Tolstoy said, following the approval of the first reading.
The move to ban transgender surgeries in Russia comes as “Putin seeks to portray as evidence of moral decay in Western countries” and remove LGBT “active” and “propaganda” from the country.
As Reuters reported, news of the ban has raised alarm among transgender advocates, who warn of psychological and physical health dangers and long-term problems posed by a potential illicit hormone drug market.
Nef Cellarius, the program coordinator of LGBT rights group Vykhod (“Coming Out”), told Reuters that requests for support sessions soared from a dozen in a normal month to 45 in June as news of the law broke.
“I’ve received many letters with phrases like, ‘I don’t want to live anymore,’ ‘I don’t know what to do,'” Cellarius said, speaking from an undisclosed location. “Trans people in Russia are scared, and they are desperate.”
As The Daily Fetched reported in December, Russian lawmakers unanimously approved a bill to ban all forms of LGBTQ “propaganda.”
The approval comes amid Putin’s move to transform Russia into the antithesis of destructive Western liberal values.
The bill broadened Russia’s already existing laws banning so-called “gay propaganda” for minors.
The legislation bans LGBTQ “propaganda” in advertisements, books, media, and cinema.
Those caught violating the law could face hefty fines.
Here are the punishments for those who violate the new laws:
- Anyone found violating the laws by spreading LGBT “propaganda” to children faces fines of up to five million rubles (£69,977/$81,267) and four million rubles (£55,981/$65,014) if the recipients are adults.
- Foreigners who breach the law face being deported from the country and a 400,000 ruble (£5,598/$6,501) fine.
- Russians who promote pedophilia will face even harsher fines of up to ten million rubles (£139,966/$162,535).