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Putin Signs Gender Reassignment Ban Into Law

Putin portrays himself as a defender of ‘traditional values’.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new piece of legislation, which represents the final stage of outlawing gender-affirming procedures in Russia, affecting the country's LGBTQ+ community already facing significant challenges.

The bill received unanimous approval from both houses of parliament and enacts a ban on all "medical interventions aimed at changing the sex of a person," as well as preventing individuals from changing their gender in official documents and public records. However, an exception is made for medical interventions required to treat congenital anomalies.

Additionally, the legislation invalidates marriages in cases where one person has undergone a gender transition, and it also prohibits transgender individuals from becoming foster or adoptive parents.

The rationale behind this ban is attributed to the Kremlin's objective of safeguarding what it perceives as the country's "traditional values." Lawmakers assert that the legislation aims to protect Russia from what they term "Western anti-family ideology," and some have even referred to gender transitioning as "pure satanism."

This crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights in Russia traces back to a decade ago when Putin first emphasised the promotion of "traditional family values," which received support from the Russian Orthodox Church. Subsequently, in 2013, the Kremlin introduced legislation banning any public endorsement of "nontraditional sexual relations" among minors.

In 2020, Putin pushed for constitutional reform that officially outlawed same-sex marriage. Last year, he also signed a law prohibiting the dissemination of "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" among adults.

This latest legislation represents a significant blow to the rights and well-being of Russia's LGBTQ+ community, further solidifying the restrictive environment they have been facing for several years.

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