On Wednesday, Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, gave preliminary approval to a bill that bans surgical sex reassignment.

his is a step in line with President Vladimir Putin’s policy of combating “unconventional” lifestyles, which he presented as evidence of the moral decline of the West.

The bill prohibits government agencies from changing a person’s gender in their personal documents.

It also prohibits “any medical interventions aimed at the formation of a person’s primary and secondary sexual characteristics,” according to a document posted in the Duma’s database.

The only exception will be operations “aimed at treating congenital anomalies in children,” the draft law says.

The law on Wednesday passed the first of three required readings in the Duma. The new law also requires approval from the upper house before it can be sent to Putin for signature.

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