Russian region defines gender change as grounds for divorce — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Russian region defines gender change as grounds for divorce — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

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The new law is necessary to preserve the traditional family, according to Konstantin Tolkachev, chairman of the Bashkiria State Assembly

Russia’s Republic of Bashkortostan has adopted a new law that would allow marriages to be nullified if one of the spouses changes gender, the press service of the regional State Assembly announced on Friday.

A change of gender that is reflected in legal civil records would constitute grounds for divorce, according to the new law. The chairman of the Bashkiria State Assembly, Konstantin Tolkachev, noted that this policy is aimed at “preserving the traditional family.”

“As we see, common sense and logic alone are not enough to protect family values. Unhealthy Western trends force us to register these seemingly obvious things in the law,” he said, adding that adding these new provisions to the Family Code of the Republic is meant to “eliminate any speculation on this topic.”

The new law also bans people who have changed their gender from becoming adoptive parents, guardians, or trustees of children.

Last July, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill that banned sex reassignment surgeries as well as legal sex changes and any associated medical interventions. The only exception is made for cases where there are serious medical grounds for such an operation.

The administration of drugs and implementation of other gender reassignment therapies is now also banned unless they are necessary to treat reproductive organ deformities in children. In such cases, however, the treatment can only be carried out by licensed clinics linked to the Russian Health Ministry.

Those who changed their gender before the new legislation was passed are now forbidden from adopting children. If one spouse in a marriage changes gender, the other spouse is entitled to request a divorce.

Between 2018 and 2022, when sex change operations remained legal, it is estimated that over 2,000 people underwent the procedure, according to Russian Deputy Health Minister Evgenia Kotova.

Trans activists have criticized the law, arguing that it seriously diminishes the rights of transgender persons in Russia. Other opponents of the law have argued that its wording is vague and could be used to deny operations such as mastectomies for women predisposed to breast cancer.

The Kremlin, however, has insisted that the text of the bill was thoroughly examined and that the risks of the law being misused to deny medically necessary treatments have been minimized.

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