After a long time in process, Russia has implemented a law banning gender reassignment surgeries, which also includes legislation barring transgenders from adopting children.
President Vladimir Putin signed the new law into effect Monday, making attempts to "change sex" via surgical procedures or other medical interventions like hormones illegal.
The law prevents "medical interventions aimed at changing the sex of a person" and makes "the state registration of a change of gender without an operation" illegal. This means a person's gender cannot be changed on legal documents such as birth records, as is happening in some instances in the West.
This would also apply to all identifying documents such as passports, which would only reflect the true biological sex of a person.
It passed both houses of Russian parliament rather quickly earlier in July, and has now become law of the land with Putin's signature.
There is a key exception to the law - it doesn't apply in cases of medical intervention to treat congenital anomalies, such as the rare condition of Hermaphroditism.
When first proposed the law had been framed as being necessary to protect traditional family values, per TASS:
The bill was initiated by speaker of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) Vyacheslav Volodin and the leaders of the five factions.
During a meeting of the Council of Legislators in April, Volodin asked lawmakers to submit their proposals to address issues linked with gender-affirmation matters. Russian Justice Minister Konstantin Chuichenko told TASS earlier that a ban on changing gender in passports and other documents would be one of the first steps to enshrine family values into national law.
As for treating potential birth abnormalities in children, the bill's language says this intervention is allowable "upon a decision from a medical commission of a federal state-run public health institution."
Already, Russian has strong laws against what's dubbed "LGBTQ propaganda" - which is intended particularly protect children.
Last December, President Putin signed into law a bill that expanded on prior legislation. After this, it became illegal to publicly promote same-sex relationships, or to present non-heterosexual orientations as "normal", according to CNN reporting at the time.
Putin signs a law banning gender change in Russia pic.twitter.com/soIQ4yRms8— Russian Market (@runews) July 24, 2023
Putin has in recent years grown bolder in his rhetoric condemning the encroaching "values" of the West, and previously spread in Russia via NGOs operating under deceptive means. Top Kremlin officials have also repeatedly echoed that NATO's expansion east reflects a broader trend of the West seeking to destroy traditional Russian Orthodox Christian values.
But to be expected, Western media reports are seeing in this new law yet another 'Putler' moment and example of a "tyrant' cracking down on Russians' "freedom".