A new Russian law could forbid trans* people to change their gender. This would mean that transgender people would officially no longer exist in Russia.

The Moscow Times reports that the Committee on Family, Women and Children has submitted a bill to amend the Family Code to prevent transgender people from officially changing their gender.

The bill is due to be considered by the State Duma, the Russian House of Commons, later this month. If implemented, Russia would follow in Hungary’s footsteps – as recently as May, Hungarian President Viktor Orban had pushed through a similar law prohibiting the subsequent change of the “biological sex” registered at birth and thus the legal recognition of the sex of transgender persons.


“Misulina’s Law” – transphobic and anti-queer

The bill, commonly known in Russia as “Misulina’s Law”, was drafted by Duma member Yelena Misulina of the “A Just Russia” party. She chairs the Committee on Family, Women and Children in the Chamber of Deputies of the Russian Parliament, the Duma, and is Russia’s figurehead when it comes to conservative family policy and homophobia. She dedicates her political work entirely to anchoring a traditional understanding of family – marriage sees Misulina

“exclusively as a union between a man and a woman […] concluded for the purpose of procreation, bearing and rearing three or more children”.

Yelena Misulina advocates the decriminalisation of domestic violence, rejects the legal equality of homosexual partnerships and calls for same-sex couples to be deprived of their children. Her committee prepared several controversial laws, including the law against “gay propaganda”.


Their latest push in July, shortly after a series of constitutional amendments were adopted in Russia, including the clause defining marriage as a purely heterosexual union, aimed to ban marriage and adoption for same-sex couples.

Misulina wants to go one step further by banning gender reassignment for transgender people, activists suspect. Many believe that the law is even intended to keep heterosexual transgender people out of marriage, because the sex originally assigned by birth would make their marriage same-sex on paper. Tatiana Glushkova, a lawyer with the Transgender Legal Defense Project, has another possible explanation. She thinks that the legislator has

“the fantasy in my head that people change their documents in order to enter into a same-sex marriage.”

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  • 579px-Elena_Mizulina,_2016: By The Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, CC-BY 4.0 / wikimedia.org
  • 9641046656_1a61d41676_o: By: Adam Groffman / Flickr

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