Three years ago a car deadly hit five orphaned young kids and their foster parents in Russia.The victims were waiting at a bus stop. Now Russia introduces a new driving license regulation. But this law is actually part of Russia’s lawful crusade against homosexuality and lifts driving rights for people with ‘sex disorders’ like sexual orientation and gender identity. So if you’re gay, lesbian or transgendered you can’t drive in Russia. But the bill doesn’t stop here.
The act, signed at the end of December by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gives authorities the power to refuse transsexual and transgender men and ladies if they want to pass their driving license. Other categories are also targeted, including people experiencing ‘mental problems’ like fetishism, exhibitionism, voyeurism, kleptomania or ‘pathologic’ gambling, as reported by the BBC.
Even more, the act said to protect citizen general wellbeing, applies to those with “sexual orientation personality issues, issues of sexual inclination and mental and behavioral problems connected with sexuality”. The law also targets people with schizophrenia, “mood” issues and “neurotic, stress-associated” difficulties. According to the decree the law aims at decreasing car-related deadly accidents.
Russian authorities estimated that about 28,000 deaths in 2012 were caused by vehicles – 55 every 100,000 cars. Russian officials say the new limitations are supported by the World Health Organization’s International Statistical Classification of Ailments and Connected Health Issues. But WHO’s document clearly states that sexual preference alone is not to be viewed as a health issue.
Russian therapists and human rights legal counselors criticized the new law while the nation’s Professional Drivers Union emphasized the good parts of the law. They believe that it’s a good way to reinforce security on the nation’s famously dangerous roads. Mikhail Strakhov, a Russian psychiatric expert, told the BBC Russian Service that the meaning of “identity issues” was excessively obscure and that a some of the ‘disorders’ would not have an impact on anybody’s ability to drive securely.
The new law is biased, the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights said, including that it would approach the Russian Constitutional Court for interpretation. Talking about the nation’s multiple road deaths, the leader of the Specialist Drivers Union, Alexander Kotov, told the BBC that increasing medical requirements for prospective drivers is completely normal though it might be a little too strict for certain individuals
In 2013, Russia prohibited ‘advancing non-traditional ways of life’, a measure targeting gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people.
Image Source: BBC