The State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted draft law No. 369814-8 in the first reading on June 14, 2023. The proposed law aims to prohibit medical professionals from performing operations related to transgender transition and also prohibits changing gender markers in documents.

LGBT World Beside volunteers are sending an appeal to each initiating deputy of this draft law in order to obtain a response regarding the specific reasons for these changes and to draw attention to why this legislative initiative contradicts the law and contains significant regulatory gaps that will undoubtedly impact the lives and health of many people if this draft law is passed.

The following is the text of the appeal:

“The State Duma of the Russian Federation is considering the draft law No. 369814-8, ‘On Amendments to the Federal Law ‘On Civil Status Acts’ and the Federal Law ‘On the Basics of Public Health Protection in the Russian Federation,’ initiated by you. I believe it is appropriate to draw your attention to certain legal and moral aspects that clearly indicate the unconstitutionality and illegality of this initiative.

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation has previously established that legislative provisions affecting sexual and related interpersonal relations do not exempt the state from its constitutional obligations to prevent arbitrary intrusion into the sphere of private life, respect its associated differences, take measures to prevent possible violations of the rights and lawful interests of individuals based on their sexual orientation, and provide effective opportunities for the protection and restoration of their violated rights, based on the principle of equality before the law and the court enshrined in Article 19 (Part 1) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation (Position of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in Conclusion No. 1-Z dated March 16, 2020).

Draft law No. 369814-8 lacks reasonable, primarily scientific, justification for establishing new regulatory provisions that clearly affect the sphere of private life.

This legislative initiative is unconstitutional and unlawful because:

  1. The draft law lacks scientific justification.
  2. The draft law violates the principle of legal certainty (Position of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in Resolution No. 3-P dated April 25, 1995).
  3. The draft law violates individual autonomy (Position of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in Conclusion No. 1-Z dated March 16, 2020).

The adoption of this draft law will restrict the right to medical care for Russian citizens, which contradicts Part 2 of Article 19 and Article 41 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Furthermore, the text of the draft contains inconsistent terminology and significant legislative gaps. For example, the draft does not provide for transitional provisions. This poses a significant legal and psychological risk to individuals currently undergoing transgender transition. The draft law (Clause 2 of Article 45.1) also fails to mention obtaining the consent of parents and the child themselves for medical interventions at an early age. The draft also does not mention how the proposed changes relate to existing legislation, including obtaining mandatory consent for medical interventions. Have you conducted a social survey or monitoring on this issue? How do parents directly relate to this initiative? Why doesn’t the draft law mention the position of the Guardianship and Custody Authorities of the Russian Federation? Who will decide on and be responsible for performing transgender transition surgery on a child at an early age if the child lacks a legal guardian or custodian?

Moreover, the federal legislator should establish necessary guarantees for the lawful conduct, recording, and storage of medical documentation, taking into account the sensitive nature of health-related information related to private life, which, as noted by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, cannot be subject to intensive legal regulation and unwarranted interference (Position of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in Resolution No. 1-P dated January 13, 2020).

The draft law does not mention anything about confidentiality guarantees, the manner of storage, or the protection of medical documentation.

I request that you respond to the substance of the raised questions in this appeal and also withdraw this draft law from consideration.”

Dmitry Denisov, a lawyer volunteer at LGBT World Beside