LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Russian Samara region keeps explicit ban on “propaganda of transgenderism”

On 27 January 2015, local parliament of the Russian Samara region voted to keep an explicit ban on “propaganda of transgenderism” in the local law “On the protection of minors from harmful information.”

The so-called “anti-propaganda” provision has existed in Samara local legislation since June 2012 and specified fines for “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism, and transgenderism.” With the adoption the federal “anti-propaganda” law in June 2013, regions that had local, earlier versions of it have been annulling them as redundant and duplicative.

Samara decision-makers, however, voted to remove from the local legislation only the language on “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, and bisexualism.” Thus, they retained explicitly the ban on “propaganda of transgenderism” and fines for actions classified as such.

Explaining this decision, they referred to the fact that “propaganda of transgenderism” is not covered by the federal legislation, which refers only to “non-traditional sexual relations.” “Propaganda of transgenderism” is understood by Samara deputies as promotion of “positive attitudes to the phenomenon of a mismatch between social and biological sex.”