Russia’s parliament unanimously passed a law on Friday banning gender reassignment surgery.
The law stipulates that people in Russia who do not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth are no longer allowed to undergo medical procedures or take hormones.
The law, which is set to come into force with President Vladimir Putin’s approval, has been slammed by human rights activists who say it is a step backwards for Russian society.
Transgender and intersex people in Russia now face even more discrimination in a country that is already hostile to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community.
Marriages in which one partner has changed their sex in the past are to be annulled under the law. Moreover, the law includes a ban on adopting children.
Lawmakers stated that they wanted to protect cultural traditions and family values in the fight against ‘Western ideologies.’
Putin is considered an advocate of strict gender roles and tradition, despite being divorced himself.
The Russian leader had it enshrined in the constitution that a marriage could only be between a man and a woman.
Russia has been imposing legal restrictions on queer peoples’ lives for years, while stopping short of banning homosexuality altogether.
Putin, who is backed by the Russian Orthodox Church, repeatedly condemn liberal policies in the West.
Source: Ghana News Agency