The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, approved this Thursday (13) in second reading a bill that prohibits “sex change” in Russia. The document was approved unanimously, 391 parliamentarians voted in favor.

The bill, submitted to the Duma on May 30, provides for a ban on changing the gender marker in documents, as well as “medical interventions aimed at changing sex.”

“Medical workers are prohibited from carrying out medical interventions aimed at changing a person’s sex, including the formation of primary and (or) secondary sexual characteristics of a person of the opposite sex,” says the bill.

The exception of the prohibition for sex change operations will be for cases of treatment of anomalies, congenital physiological of sex formation in children. In these cases, the gender reassignment intervention can only be carried out “by decision of the medical commission of the federal public health institution”.

In addition, Duma deputies suggested several amendments to the original bill that further undermine the rights of transgender people: now, people who have changed their gender marker will be prohibited from adopting children; if two people are officially married and one of the spouses has changed the gender marker, this marriage can be annulled by the authorities; notaries will not be able to make changes to a person’s documents based on medical certificates of “sex change”.

Previously, the Ministry of Health gave a negative opinion to the bill, which, among other things, indicated that it could lead to an increase in the number of suicides in people whose gender does not correspond to the official sex.

A third reading of the bill is scheduled for this Friday (14). Then the text goes to the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian Parliament, for approval. Then, the last step for the law to become final is the signature of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The process, however, is considered protocol and the project must be approved without contestation.

Editing: Thales Schmidt


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