Putin signs new law banning gender transitions in Russia

The legislation will also not allow gender changes to be made on official documents.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law to ban surgical and hormonal gender reassignment procedures. The legislation has already been officially published in the laws register and came into effect immediately.

The proposal had already been passed unanimously in both houses of parliament this month and went ahead on July 24 with the president’s signature, which means that medical procedures for sex change will no longer be allowed in Russia.

The legislation includes exceptions such as “congenital physiological anomalies of sex formation in children,” which means that only those born with intersex characteristics will be eligible for gender reassignment treatment.

However, not just any doctor will be able to treat these deformities. The law states that only centers linked to the Russian Ministry of Health can decide on such treatments and issue the relevant certificates.

“There are conditions that can be identified during childhood. Yet, when a person changes sex because they woke up in the morning and decided they are not a boy but a girl, that is just wrong,” expressed the chairman of the Russian Assembly, Vyacheslav Volodin.

The legislation also prevents gender changes on official documents or public records. Transgender persons will also be prohibited from adopting children.

According to lawmakers, this law will help safeguard Russia against “the Western anti-family ideology.” However, Lyubov Vinogradova, executive director of the Independent Psychiatric Association of Russia, opined that the law is “misanthropic.” Sex transition treatments “shouldn’t be banned entirely because there are people for whom it is the only way to … to exist normally and find peace with themselves,” he said.