Pin It
yevgeniy fiks
An empty road in RussiaYevgeniy Fiks

Russia bans trans people from driving

The government views transgender and transsexual people as too ‘mentally disordered’ to get behind the wheel

Transgender and transsexual people are to be banned from the roads in Russia, with the government viewing these men and women as having "mental disorders". Consider this another sad blow to LGBT rights in the Motherland.

The decree was signed on December 29 by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last year and specifically applies to "those with gender identity disorders, disorders of sexual preference and psychological and behavioural disorders associated with sexual development and orientation".

Officials claim that there are "too many accidents" on the roads, so they need to clamp down on who and who can't get behind the wheel.

Russians with an interest in fetishism, exhibitionism and voyeurism will also be kept off the roads. The ruling is in line with Russia's fresh determination to squash the promotion of "non-traditional lifestyles", a law that they passed last year.

The head of the Professional Drivers' Union, Alexander Kutov, told the BBC that he thought that the move was a good idea: "We have too many deaths on the road, and I believe toughening medical requirements for applicants is fully justified."

Human rights' lawyers and psychiatrists condemned the new law. One psychiatrist, Valery Evtushenko, explained to BBC Russia how he believed that the ruling would stop people seeking out medical help for any psychiatric problems as they'd fear being stripped of their licenses. 

The Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights described the new law as "discriminatory".