Russian President Vladimir Putin signed new legislation on Monday, marking the final step in outlawing gender-affirming procedures, crippling Russia’s already troubled LGBTQ community.
The bill, which was unanimously approved by both houses of parliament, prohibits “any medical intervention aimed at changing a person’s sex” and changes one’s gender in official and public records. The only exception would be medical intervention to treat birth defects.
It invalidates marriages where a person has “transgendered” and prevents transgender people from becoming foster or adoptive parents.
The ban is said to stem from a Kremlin crusade to protect what it views as the country’s “traditional values”. Lawmakers say it is to protect Russia from “Western anti-family ideology,” with some describing gender reassignment as “pure satanism.”
Russia’s crackdown on LGBTQ people began a decade ago, when Putin first announced a focus on “traditional family values” backed by the Russian Orthodox Church.
In 2013, the Kremlin adopted legislation banning the public endorsement of “non-traditional sexual relations” between minors. In 2020, Putin pushed through a constitutional reform that would outlaw same-sex marriage, and last year signed a law banning the “propagation of non-traditional sexual relations” even among adults.