Russian authorities will reportedly not really enforce their trans driving ban.
It was revealed last week that a new Ministry of Health policy would allow authorities to rescind or deny a driver’s license to anyone who has been diagnosed as transgender, bigender, asexual, or as a cross-dresser.
The ban also extended to those found to engage in sadomasochism and exhibitionism and those who “pathologically” steal or gamble.
The country was derided around the world for the absurdity of the move, which officials claimed would help reduce the high accident rate on the roads.
Shawn Gaylord, from the US-based Human Rights First, said at the time that the ban “is ridiculous and just another example of the Russian regime’s methodical rollback of basic human rights for its citizens.”
Now, Health Ministry spokesman Oleg Salagai has told Reuters that transgender people will be able to remain behind the wheel.
Salagai explained that “mental or behavioural disorders” were not in themselves a reason to stop someone driving and would only have impact an on a very small group of people who suffer from severe, chronic or persistent symptoms that actually affect their ability to drive.
They would also need to be declared unfit to drive by a psychiatric commission.
“I find it hard to believe that, even in Russia, any psychiatrist could come to the conclusion that transgender people are not fit to drive. Of course it won’t happen,” Kseniya Kirichenko, from the Russian LGBT Network, told Reuters.
Russia’s LGBT community has faced growing discrimination and censorship since President Putin enacted a federal ‘gay propaganda’ law in June 2013.