In Russia, it is not unknown for members of the LGBT community to face discrimination that is far within the law, and now lawmakers in Russia have written a draft that proposes the outlawing of marriage for gay and trans* people.
As many of us already know, there was a previous law passed in Russia which meant that driving licenses can be denied to people who are transgender, bisexual, crossdressers, and people prone to fetishism, exhibitionism and pedophilia. Now, a law has been drafted that will outlaw marriage that involves a transgender individual. Same sex marriage is already illegal, however this new law aims to close a loophole that allowed lesbian couple Irina Shumilova and Alyona Fursova to marry last November.
Irina Shumilova and Alyona Fursova are a lesbian couple who reside in Russia and got married last November. Russian law would not allow two females to marry; if both women were cisgender it would have been illegal, but because Shumilova is transgender and still legally male, she was able to marry. Their marriage made global news and the couple received support from around the world, but amongst local politicians they were described as ‘disgusting’ and there has been a campaign to prosecute them, but since the marriage was legal according to current law there’s nothing that can be done by authorities.
Russian politician Vitaly Milonov said that he promises to avoid more ‘Ugly insults to millions of Russian families in the future’ in response to Shumilova and Fursova’s wedding. If the bill were to be passed, it would prohibit marriage between ‘persons of the same gender (as identified at birth), including in cases of gender change, either before the marriage or at the moment of marriage’ so the only people able to marry in Russia would be people who were cisgender and straight, to restore ‘Traditional family values’.
This is not something that we, as a community, can ignore. We will not ignore lawful discrimination and we will not stay silent. The least we can do is be aware and spread that awareness, so I urge you all to share this article for our friends over in Russia, because if it was us we’d want others to do the same.