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Russian lawmakers propose legislation to tighten restrictions on transgender rights

On Thursday, Russian lawmakers passed a more stringent version of a bill that prohibits gender transitioning procedures. The new version includes additional clauses that invalidate marriages in which one person has undergone gender transitioning and also prevent transgender individuals from becoming adoptive or foster parents. The bill received rapid and unanimous approval in its second reading in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma. This legislation poses a significant blow to Russia’s LGBTQ+ community, which has long faced oppression. Under this bill, all medical interventions aimed at changing a person’s sex are prohibited, along with changing one’s gender on official documents and public records.

Religion News Service reports:

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Russian lawmakers on Thursday approved a toughened version of a bill that outlaws gender transitioning procedures, with added clauses that annul marriages in which one person has “changed gender” and bar transgender people from becoming foster or adoptive parents.

The bill received swift, unanimous approval of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, in its key second reading, and lawmakers scheduled the third and final reading for Friday. There is little doubt that the bill, a crippling blow to Russia’s oppressed LGBTQ+ community, will be adopted amid the Kremlin’s crusade to protect what it views as the country’s “traditional values.”

The bill bans any “medical interventions aimed at changing the sex of a person,” as well as changing one’s gender in official documents and public records.

New clauses added to the bill also amend Russia’s Family Code by listing gender change as a reason to annul a marriage and adding those “who had changed gender” to a list of people who can’t become foster or adoptive parents.

Lawmakers portray the measure as protecting Russia from “the Western anti-family ideology,” with some describing gender transitioning as “pure satanism.”

It has rattled the country’s transgender community and has drawn criticism not only from LGBTQ+ rights advocates but from the medical community as well.

Read the full article here.

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