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14 Jun, 2023 19:20

Russia moves to ban sex changes

Amendments to two laws are making their way through the State Duma
Russia moves to ban sex changes

The Russian parliament on Wednesday advanced the proposal to outlaw almost all sex reassignment surgery, as well as gender changes on official documents. Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin cited US statistics as an argument to proceed quickly and “ban all this fornication.”

Amendments to two laws were endorsed by over 400 of the 450 deputies in the first reading, and are now headed to the regions and government ministries for consultation. Volodin told reporters he hopes to have the final version adopted before the end of the current legislative session, in the spring of 2024.

One of the amendments would ban medical workers from “medical interventions aimed at changing the sex of a person, including the formation of a person’s primary and (or) secondary sexual characteristics of the other sex.”

Another would block administrative requests for changing the sex on official documents without proof of – soon to be outlawed – surgery. The proposed amendments would allow some surgical procedures, however, in order to remedy “congenital anomalies” in children.  

In a floor speech, Volodin said that under existing laws, a Russian could go to a clinic, pay 30-60,000 rubles [$355-$710] for a sex change, get the documents confirming their new name, and then “enter a marriage and – God forbid! – adopt a child.”

“The worst part is the abuse of children,” Volodin told the lawmakers. “In the US, where these new pseudo-values are promoted, the proportion of transgender people among teenagers is already three times higher than among adults. This is the result of propaganda. The number of children receiving hormone therapy has more than doubled in five years. Pumping up children with hormones begins at the age of eight. In just five years, between 2017 and 2021, more than 2,000 gender reassignment surgeries were performed on children aged 13 to 17.”

He urged The Ministry of Health not to invent amendments based on concerns for the well-being of people. The correct way to take care of people is to “ban this fornication,” Volodin argued.

The ministry has responded to the proposal with a “very emotional” letter, Deputy Chairman Pyotr Tolstoy told the chamber. He paraphrased the ministry’s argument as saying that the bill would cause “ethical, medical and social problems” to individuals whose documentation will no longer “match the reality that has developed in their heads,” and who may commit suicide as a result.

Deputy Health Minister Oleg Salagay said that transsexuals would continue receiving normal medical care if the amendments passed, noting that a total of 996 people submitted requests to change their sex on their passports in 2022, but “far fewer” had undergone surgical procedures.

Last November, Volodin spearheaded the adoption of a ban on all “LGBTQ, pedophilia and sex-change propaganda” in all advertising, books, movies and media. He argued that the move would “protect our children, the future of the country, from the darkness spread by the US and European states.”