Putin signs ban on gender-affirming care into law News
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Putin signs ban on gender-affirming care into law

Russia President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed into law a bill that bans transgender people from obtaining gender-affirming surgeries in the country. The Russia Duma previously unanimously passed the bill on July 14. 

The new law prohibits surgery and hormone therapy for transgender individuals as well as any gender changes on official Russian documentation. The law applies retroactively, barring any Russians who have already transitioned from adopting children. The law also annuls transgender individuals’ marriages. However, there is an exception to the law for those with congenital physiological abnormalities.

The Russian Orthodox Church has expressed support for Russia’s steady restriction of LGBTQ+ rights. In 2013, the Kremlin banned public endorsement of non-traditional sexual relations between minors. Then, in 2020, Russia banned same-sex marriage. More recently, in 2022, Russia approve an expansion of the 2013 ban so that the ban now encompasses propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to adults as well as minors.

Back when the new law was still in the Russian legislature, human rights groups authored a letter condemning the bill. The groups claimed the bill was an attack on sexual and gender minorities, showing an “utter disregard” for their rights. Human Rights Watch (HRW) doubled down on the language from the letter—which they helped author—in a statement Tuesday. HRW condemned the new law as “an infringement on the rights of transgender people in Russia.”