Russia does a u-turn, says transgender citizens will not be banned from driving


Russian officials have given transgender individuals the green light to continue driving after a new road safety decree sparked panic last week that they would be banned from the road.

Moscow-trafficReuters reports that the decree — a legal amendment which includes a list of symptoms from the World Health Organization’s international classification of diseases — lists trans sexuality among the medical conditions that could prevent a person from driving.

But a government official said Tuesday that a mental or behavioral disorder in itself was not a reason to stop someone driving.

The law would affect only those suffering from chronic and prolonged mental disorders with severe or persistent symptoms, Health Ministry spokesman Oleg Salagai told Reuters.

This description applies to less than one percent of patients in the category “disorders of adult personality and behavior,” under which trans sexuality is classified in the current WHO system, Salagai said.

The WHO classification contains “gender identity disorders” such as transsexualism and “disorders of sexual preference,” including fetishism and voyeurism.

The organization, which has been under pressure for years to stop considering transgender people as mentally ill, is currently revising its International Classification of Diseases, which came into use in 1994. The revised version is expected to be approved in May.

This Story Filed Under