Here is how Russia’s ban on ‘sex changes’ works

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14 Jul, 2023 12:54

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill imposing strict limits on people’s ability to legally change their sex or undergo gender reassignment surgery. The bill passed the lower chamber of parliament, the Russian State Duma, earlier this month.

Here is why MPs say they sponsored the legislation and how the new system will work.

Western ideology

The law aligns with the Russian government’s opposition to what senior officials have branded “transgender ideology” in the West. State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin cited rising US numbers of what are called ‘gender-affirming surgeries’ to argue that the limitations in Russia are necessary, claiming that the number of procedures has increased by 50 times over a decade.

The sponsors of the bill said that last year under 1,000 people asked to legally change their sex in Russia, which requires gender-affirming surgery. But the annual figure has been growing, they stressed, blaming a “sex change industry” which they say is targeting young people.

Medical malpractice

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The MPs have also accused “malpracticing doctors, psychologists, [and] a developed network of LGBT organizations and activists” of pushing Russian youths into seeking ‘sex change’ treatments.

They claimed that one could find a private medical facility that would certify a patient’s medical need for transition without proper examination. The service would cost as little as $330, the bill’s sponsors said.

With the bill signed into law by Putin, only some federal-level clinics will be licensed to make the call on whether a patient needs to undergo sex-altering treatment. A medical council will be required to take such a decision in cases of “congenital anomalies, genetic and endocrine conditions, connected to abnormal formation of sexual organs in children.”

Legal status

The bill alters the Russian civil law in several ways. It permits only licensed clinics to issue certificates that allow a person to change legal sex on the national register.

A person’s decision to do that would automatically cause their marriage, if any, to be nullified. Russia only recognizes a union between a man and a woman as a marriage.

Such people will also be barred from adopting children or being legal guardians of minors.

Russia charges trans activist with treason for aiding Ukraine Read more Russia charges trans activist with treason for aiding Ukraine

The law has no retroactive power. People who undergo surgery before it comes into force and their healthcare providers won’t face repercussions. However, a licensed clinic will have to certify their medical condition before they can apply to change legal sex.

What trans activists say

Defenders of trans rights have blasted the legislation, saying it seriously diminishes the rights of transgender individuals in Russia. Some claimed it was motivated by transphobia.

Critics also pointed out that the bill’s wording leaves many questions unanswered, such as whether a doctor can perform mastectomy on a woman who is genetically predisposed to developing breast cancer.

READ MORE: Nearly 40% of students at Ivy League school identify as LGBTQ

Supporters, however, believe that those attacking the bill may have ulterior motives. Volodin’s deputy, Pyotr Tolstoy, said the pushback was similar “to when we banned surrogacy for foreigners (i.e. trade in children)” in December last year.

Tolstoy stated that sex changes were a “lucrative business for some” and a way for advocacy groups to gain influence.

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العربية. ESP. РУС. DE. FR. RS. Where to watch. Schedule. RT News App. Question more. live. Russia & Former Soviet Union. World News. Business. India. Africa. RT Features. Analysis. Op-ed. Games & Culture. Shows. Projects. 14 Jul, 2023 12:54. Home. Russia & FSU. FILE PHOTO. ©. Getty Images/nito100. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill imposing strict limits on people’s ability to legally change their sex or undergo gender reassignment surgery. The bill passed the lower chamber of parliament, the Russian State Duma, earlier this month. Here is why MPs say they sponsored the legislation and how the new system will work. Western ideology. The law aligns with the Russian government’s opposition to what senior officials have branded “transgender ideology” in the West. State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin cited rising US numbers of what are called ‘gender-affirming surgeries’ to argue that the limitations in Russia are necessary, claiming that the number of procedures has increased by 50 times over a decade. The sponsors of the bill said that last year under 1,000 people asked to legally change their sex in Russia, which requires gender-affirming surgery. But the annual figure has been growing, they stressed, blaming a “sex change industry” which they say is targeting young people. Medical malpractice. Biological male wins ‘Miss Netherlands’ Read more Biological male wins ‘Miss Netherlands’ The MPs have also accused “malpracticing doctors, psychologists, [and] a developed network of LGBT organizations and activists” of pushing Russian youths into seeking ‘sex change’ treatments. They claimed that one could find a private medical facility that would certify a patient’s medical need for transition without proper examination. The service would cost as little as $330, the bill’s sponsors said. With the bill signed into law by Putin, only some federal-level clinics will be licensed to make the call on whether a patient needs to undergo sex-altering treatment. A medical council will be required to take such a decision in cases of “congenital anomalies, genetic and endocrine conditions, connected to abnormal formation of sexual organs in children.” Legal status. The bill alters the Russian civil law in several ways. It permits only licensed clinics to issue certificates that allow a person to change legal sex on the national register. A person’s decision to do that would automatically cause their marriage, if any, to be nullified. Russia only recognizes a union between a man and a woman as a marriage. Such people will also be barred from adopting children or being legal guardians of minors. Russia charges trans activist with treason for aiding Ukraine Read more Russia charges trans activist with treason for aiding Ukraine. The law has no retroactive power. People who undergo surgery before it comes into force and their healthcare providers won’t face repercussions. However, a licensed clinic will have to certify their medical condition before they can apply to change legal sex. What trans activists say. Defenders of trans rights have blasted the legislation, saying it seriously diminishes the rights of transgender individuals in Russia. Some claimed it was motivated by transphobia. Critics also pointed out that the bill’s wording leaves many questions unanswered, such as whether a doctor can perform mastectomy on a woman who is genetically predisposed to developing breast cancer. READ MORE: Nearly 40% of students at Ivy League school identify as LGBTQ. Supporters, however, believe that those attacking the bill may have ulterior motives. Volodin’s deputy, Pyotr Tolstoy, said the pushback was similar “to when we banned surrogacy for foreigners (i.e. trade in children)” in December last year. Tolstoy stated that sex changes were a “lucrative business for some” and a way for advocacy groups to gain influence. Explainer. Follow RT on. LGBTQ. Russia. Top stories. Ex-Russian president suggests surprise response to Ukrainian drone attacks Ex-Russian president suggests surprise response to Ukrainian drone attacks Latest Top Stories. China lashes out at US ally over chip curbs China lashes out at US ally over chip curbs. Richard Nixon predicted Ukraine conflict in 1994 – WSJ Richard Nixon predicted Ukraine conflict in 1994 – WSJ. Russia does not target civilian buildings – Kremlin Russia does not target civilian buildings – Kremlin. South Africa to send female astronauts to ISS – agency South Africa to send female astronauts to ISS – agency. India wants sex scene removed from ‘Oppenheimer’ India wants sex scene removed from ‘Oppenheimer’ Goldman Sachs predicts ‘all-time-high’ oil demand Goldman Sachs predicts ‘all-time-high’ oil demand. Russia makes digital ruble official Russia makes digital ruble official. RT Features. Zelensky’s ‘cannon fodder’: The strange lives and pointless deaths of foreign mercenaries fighting in Ukraine. Zelensky’s ‘cannon fodder’: The strange lives and pointless deaths of foreign mercenaries fighting in Ukraine. FEATURE. India’s quest to bring antiquities back home. India’s quest to bring antiquities back home. FEATURE. From ore to art: How a tiny factory town became the capital of Russian street art. From ore to art: How a tiny factory town became the capital of Russian street art. FEATURE. Mixi.Media News. Top stories. Ex-Russian president suggests surprise response to Ukrainian drone attacks Ex-Russian president suggests surprise response to Ukrainian drone attacks Latest Top Stories. China lashes out at US ally over chip curbs China lashes out at US ally over chip curbs. Richard Nixon predicted Ukraine conflict in 1994 – WSJ Richard Nixon predicted Ukraine conflict in 1994 – WSJ. Russia does not target civilian buildings – Kremlin Russia does not target civilian buildings – Kremlin. South Africa to send female astronauts to ISS – agency South Africa to send female astronauts to ISS – agency. India wants sex scene removed from ‘Oppenheimer’ India wants sex scene removed from ‘Oppenheimer’ Goldman Sachs predicts ‘all-time-high’ oil demand Goldman Sachs predicts ‘all-time-high’ oil demand. Russia makes digital ruble official Russia makes digital ruble official. We offer you the possibility to receive RT's news highlights every Monday, Wednesday and Friday by email. RT Features. Zelensky’s ‘cannon fodder’: The strange lives and pointless deaths of foreign mercenaries fighting in Ukraine. Zelensky’s ‘cannon fodder’: The strange lives and pointless deaths of foreign mercenaries fighting in Ukraine. FEATURE. India’s quest to bring antiquities back home. India’s quest to bring antiquities back home. FEATURE. From ore to art: How a tiny factory town became the capital of Russian street art. From ore to art: How a tiny factory town became the capital of Russian street art. FEATURE. All podcasts. The New Middle East. PLO Lumumba warns Africa: ‘The West NEVER takes its eyes off the ball’, Ukraine proxy war & more. العربية. esp. рус. de. fr. rs. RT News App. News. Russia & Former Soviet Union. Business. Africa. India. RT Features. Analysis. Op-ed. Games & Culture. Shows. Projects. Live. Applications. Where to watch. Schedule. Sponsored content. Terms of Use. Privacy policy. About RT. RT Promo: Hall of Fame. Contact info. Feedback & Complaints. Vacancies. © Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”, 2005–2023. All rights reserved. This website uses cookies. Read RT Privacy policy to find out more. Accept cookies.