MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin signed new legislation Monday that marked the final step to ban gender-affirmation procedures, a blow to Russia’s already embattled LGBTQ community.
The bill, which was unanimously approved by both houses of parliament, prohibits any «medical intervention aimed at changing a person’s sex», as well as gender change in official documents and public records. The only exception will be medical intervention to treat congenital anomalies.
It also voids marriages in which one person has “changed gender” and prohibits transgender people from becoming foster or adoptive parents.
The ban is said to stem from the Kremlin’s crusade to protect what it sees as the country’s «traditional values». Lawmakers say legislation is to safeguard Russia against “Western anti-family ideology”, with some describing gender transition as “pure satanism”.
Russia’s crackdown on LGBTQ people began a decade ago when Putin first proclaimed a focus on «traditional family values,» supported by the Russian Orthodox Church.
In 2013, the Kremlin adopted legislation banning any public endorsement of “non-traditional sexual relations” between minors. In 2020, Putin pushed through a constitutional reform that banned same-sex marriage, and last year he signed a law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” between adults as well.