Russian Legislative Proposal Seeks to Ban ‘Gender-Affirming’ Surgeries

In a move that could significantly impact the transgender community in Russia, a legislative proposal has been presented in the country seeking to prohibit so-called “gender-affirming” surgeries, except in cases of congenital abnormalities.

The legislation aims to augment existing laws pertaining to the health protection of Russian citizens, introducing a provision that restricts “medical interventions geared to swap gender,” which includes surgeries altering primary or secondary sex characteristics.

Under the terms of the proposed legislation, any medical interventions for treating birth abnormalities in children can only proceed “upon a decision from a medical commission of a federal state-run public health institution.”

The bill delineates that the Russian government will define the specifics of such institutions and the process for such decision-making.

A crucial component of the proposed legislation includes a prohibition on public records offices from making any corrections or modifications to documents based on gender-related certificates issued by medical entities.

This represents a significant departure from the existing law, which currently allows for the modification of personal documents predicated on a medical certificate of gender reassignment.

Spearheaded by Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament), and the heads of the five factions, the bill follows a meeting of the Council of Legislators in April.

During this meeting, Volodin encouraged lawmakers to present proposals that address gender-related issues.

Moreover, Russian Justice Minister Konstantin Chuichenko, in a conversation with TASS, hinted that prohibiting gender changes in passports and other official documents is likely to be among the initial steps to enshrine family values into national law.

He asserted that the proposed amendments will be integrated into the law on civil status acts.