Russian parliament to ban gender reassignment


Eastern Europe


The Russian parliament has approved a ban on gender change in the first reading. Photo AFP, Alexander Nemenov

Russian lawmakers voted on Wednesday to ban legal or surgical sex changes. The Duma approved a bill for that in the first reading.

This is reported by The Moscow Times. “Medical interventions aimed at changing the sex of a person” will become illegal. But also the “registration of a change of gender without an operation.”

The Duma, the Lower House of the Russian Federation, will not forbid any change. Still, only the interventions “related to the treatment of congenital physiological anomalies in children,” the Duma website said.

All 365 State Duma deputies present for the vote supported the bill.

According to the Italian newspaper Avvenire, 2700 Russians changed their gender officially between 2018 and 2023.

The ruling United Russia party deputy Pyotr Tolstoy said the bill was about “erecting a barrier” against the “penetration of Western anti-family ideology.” The soldiers returning from Ukraine must find a country that has changed for the good, he said on Telegram. “That we are all fighting for a new sovereign Russia, as a united front free from Western influence.”


Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have frequently cast Western liberal values, particularly gender and sexual freedoms, as a foreign ideology threatening Russia’s “traditional and spiritual values.”

The Kommersant business daily reported last month, citing a source in the State Duma, that Russian lawmakers were concerned about an “increasing number of cases” where Russian men “used gender reassignment certificates to avoid being drafted into the military” and sent to the frontline in Ukraine.

The bill banning gender reassignment must now pass its second and third readings in the State Duma and a single reading in the upper-house Federation Council before it can be signed into law by Putin.



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