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Russia’s parliament to move forward with erasing trans rights and LGBT+ families this month

Russia’s parliament to move forward with erasing trans rights and LGBT+ families this month

  • New laws would stop trans people changing gender, ban them from opposite-sex marriage and may take kids from LGBT+ people.
Yelena Mizulina.

Anti-LGBT+ Russian lawmakers will take a big step towards erasing transgender rights when their bill comes before the country’s parliament this month.

Yelena Mizulina hopes to repeat her success from 2013 when she spearheaded Russia’s infamous anti-LGBT+ ‘propaganda law’.

Now she and fellow legislator Lyudmila Narusova are advancing amendments to Russia’s Family Code.

Like Hungary’s anti-trans law this year, it will ban transgender people from legally changing their gender.

Meanwhile, the Mizulina-Narusova bill may even force trans people who already have new birth certificates to hand them back.

Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Russia. However, the bill adds an unnecessary further layer of legislation forbidding same-sex couples from marrying.

But the proposals even ban opposite-sex marriages for trans people. Citizens will have to prove they are the same gender as at birth before marrying.

Moreover, the human rights lawyers warn Russian prisons will place trans women in male jails and trans men in female ones.

Russia already forbids adoption by same-sex couples. But the new bill may threaten families where a single LGBT+ person has adopted a child.

Mizulina said: ‘The bill terminates the practice of marriage between persons of the same sex, including sex-changing, and, accordingly, the adoption by such pairs of children.’

Based on anti-trans ‘fantasy’

The politicians are responding to the new constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Russia. The new constitution says marriage is ‘a voluntary union of a man and a woman aimed at creating a family’.

This was part of a raft of 206 new constitutional amendments voters passed with a simple yes/ no referendum at the start of July. The amendments also give President Vladimir Putin the chance to hold on to power until at least 2036.

Mizulina and Narusova introduced the bill in the Federation Council – the upper house of Russia’s parliament in mid July.

But getting it through the State Duma – the lower house – is a vital next step to seeing it become law. Now The Moscow Times says the bill will come before the Duma before the end of September.

Yekaterina Messorosh of St Petersburg-based transgender rights group T-Action told The Moscow Times:

‘It is primarily aimed at declaring LGBT+ people – and in this case, trans people separately and especially – second-class citizens.’

Meanwhile Tatiana Glushkova of the Transgender Legal Defense Project suggested the lawmakers held ‘a fantasy in their heads that people change their documents in order to enter into a same-sex marriage’.

She added: ‘The lawmakers don’t even understand the process involved for changing gender in Russia. These amendments shouldn’t be accepted simply on technical grounds, not to mention the human rights violations.’

Indeed, the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights has warned the politicians proposals are a ‘crime against humanity’.

Mizulina’s LGBT+ hate

Mizulina has a long track record of damaging LGBT+ rights in Russia.

She was an author of the country’s infamous LGBT+ ‘propaganda law’. That law bans so-called ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships’ among minors.

In practice, Russian officials use it to arbitrarily crack down on LGBT+ people’s freedom of expression. It is one of a number of ways they can block Russian citizens from organizing or protesting.

Meanwhile Mizulina believes officials should treat people who use the phrase ‘gays are people too’ as extremists.

Furthermore, she has previously stated the authorities should confiscate children from gay parents. This includes taking children from their biological parents if they are LGBT+.

Her bizarre views include believing that if you allow prisoners to do yoga in jail, it could turn them gay.

Her proposed new version of the Family Code goes even further than Hungary’s ban on trans people changing legal gender.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party pushed the bill through parliament in May. In doing so he attracted international criticism. And legal challenges in Hungary’s Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights may see the law scrapped.

Russia is also bound by the European Convention on Human Rights and its court. However, it has previously put its domestic laws above its international obligations.