January 9, 2015
Russia Bans Gay Drivers: Law Bans Transgenders, 'Disorders Of Sexual Orientation' From Driving

At the end of the December, 2014, a Russian decree was signed that appears to ban transgenders from driving cars, along with other sexual orientations that the government has deemed "disorders of sexual preference." Gay rights activists and LGBT communities fear the new law will be enforced to include other sexual orientations as well.

In a related article by The Inquisitr, gay Russians are seeking asylum in the United States for fear of persecution in an growing anti-gay Russian society. The department of homeland security estimates that asylum seekers from Russia are up 34 percent from 2012 to about 969 people.

The new provision is part of a document that defines what medical conditions will disqualify a motorist from driving. Most of the conditions are physical impairments, but the new term "disorders of sexual preference" falls under "mental and behavioral disorders."

The provision references a set of "mental and behavioral disorders" as defined by the World Health Organization, which include all transgender people, bigender, asexuals, transvestites, crossdressers, and people who want a sex change.

In other words. any man who dresses up as a women, or vice versa, should be denied a driver's license.

The Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights said the decree "demonstrates bias against certain individuals and groups of citizens, as well as significantly restricting the rights and freedoms of citizens as a whole."

The WHO's ICD-10 does not classify homosexuality as a "disorder of sexual preference," however, though someone who wishes to change their sexual orientation or gender identity "because of associated psychological and behavioral disorders" can be diagnosed as having a condition called "egodystonic sexual orientation."

As laws in Russia tend to broadly applied and not strictly to the text, some fear that the rule will be used to prevent gays, lesbians, and bisexuals from driving, reported Buzzfeed.

The new law is another step in the same direction as Russia's 2013 gay propaganda law, which led to athletes protesting the Sochi Winter Olympics last year.

The gay propaganda ban was a federal law unanimously passed in the Russian parliament. The law banned the spreading of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" among minors. The law, in effect, made it illegal to equate straight and gay relationships, as well as the distribution of material on gay rights.

The fines are up to 100,000 roubles ($1,595) for individuals who have used the media or internet to promote "non-traditional relations." Organizations can be fined up to 1 million roubles and closed down for up to 90 days.

What do you think of Russia banning transgenders from driving?