MOSCOW (AP) — Human rights activists are denouncing the new road safety regulations in Russia that prohibit transsexuals and transvestites from driving — along with others who have what are termed sexual “disorders.”
The government resolution lists numerous medical conditions, including “mental and behavioral disorders” as defined by the World Health Organization.
The WHO classification does include “gender identity disorders” such as transsexualism, along with what it calls “disorders of sexual preference,” including fetishism and voyeurism.
The head of the WHO’s mental health department says the intent was never to create bans like the one adopted in Russia. The organization has been under pressure for years to stop considering transgender people as mentally ill.
The human rights commissioner for the Council of Europe says the new rules are “ridiculous and unlawful.” Activists say they could worsen an already hostile climate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Russia.
Those barred from driving also include people who suffer from mood disorders, anxiety, depression, dementia and schizophrenia.
And based on the WHO classifications, drug addicts and pathological gamblers also could be kept from getting behind the wheel.