The proposed amendments to the Family Code outlaw marriages of trans people and discriminate all Russian LGBT+ individuals.
Update – 17 November 2020: Good news: Lawmakers in Russia withdrew the bill! This comes as a relief for Russian LGBT+ people and transgender people in particular. We will continue working with our partners on the ground to help protect LGBT+ people in Russia.
Update – 21 October 2020: The Russian government rejected the amendments to the Family Code, but the bill could still be adopted by the Russian Parliament. Let’s keep up the pressure to make sure this doesn’t happen.
On 14th July, 2020, a group of Russian senators introduced a draft law “aimed at strengthening the institution of the family”. In the explanatory note to the bill they explain the need for adoption by, first, the inconsistency between the current legislation and the previously adopted amendments to the Russian Constitution, which now define marriage as a union between man and woman, and, second, by the general demand of the society to preserve family values.
One of the amendments adds to the Family Code a prohibition of same-sex marriage. According to the authors of the bill, “sex” means “gender marker, assigned at birth”. In order to prevent transgender people from entering into marriage after changing their gender marker, the legislators suggest modifying the existing procedure of legal gender recognition. The draft law assumes that transgender people will no longer be able to change their name and legal gender marker in their birth certificates.
The text of the draft law leaves it open whether transgender people will be able to change other documents. Moreover, the draft law will have retroactive effect and will oblige transgender people, who have already changed their documents, to change their birth certificates back. At the same time, the fate of the marriages already contracted by transgender people remains unclear.
We state that the proposed law is of a discriminatory nature and infringes rights of LGBT+ people and their loved ones.
The 2013 law prohibiting the "promotion of non-traditional sexual relations among minors" made it virtually impossible to hold public assemblies aimed at protecting the LGBT+ rights, as well as informing LGBT+ teenagers. Now the state has gone further and plans on declaring transgender people second-class citizens, denying them the enjoyment of their most basic rights.
Russian LGBT+ NGOs, human rights activists and some public figures have already condemned the proposed bill. We call on the legislators to reject these amendments.