Russian President Vladimir Putin has directed sexologists to help gay folks overcome what he calls the “mental disorder” of same-sex sexual attraction.
According to Reuters, Putin directed Russia’s sex experts to help folks overcome “non-standard preferences” which include homosexuality, bestiality, and autoeroticism among others. The new directive took effect July 1.
Last month Putin also ordered the Ministry of Health to create an institute to study homosexuals at the Serbsky Center for Psychiatry and Narcology, according to istories.
“The help of such specialists is necessary if a person wants to recover from frigidity, impotence, or such violations of sexual behavior as fetishism, masochism, and sadism,” the Duma, the country’s parliament, reported through its official newspaper, according to Reuters.
The order to create the institute at the Serbsky Center came in the Duma on June 14 during the first reading of a bill banning gender-affirming treatment and surgery. Deputy Anatoly Wasserman asked the minister of health, Mikhail Murashko, about the “psychiatric methods” used to “bring these ideas [regarding sexual and gender identity] into line with reality.”
“Now there is an instruction from the president to create an additional institute on the basis of our federal center of psychiatry to study not only these, but also a number of behavioral areas, including social behavior,” Murashko said in response according to istories. “Therefore, this direction will also be further taken into obligatory scientific study, in addition to what we are doing today.”
The bill banning gender-affirming surgery and treatment passed the Duma on June 14. The bill also outlaws the changing of official documents to align with a person’s true gender. The bill was co-authored by 400 members of parliament.
Last December, Putin signed a law strengthening a ban on LGBTQ “propaganda” in Russia and making it illegal to promote same-sex sexual relations or suggest non-heterosexual attractions are “normal.” Individuals can be fined up to 400,000 rubles ($6,370) for “LGBT propaganda” and up to 200,000 rubles ($3,185) for “demonstrations of LGBT and information that encourages a change of gender among teenagers.” The fines increase to 5 million rubles ($80,000) and 4 million rubles ($64,000) respectively for legal entities.
With its actions last month, Russia is reversing its own 1999 decision removing same-sex sexual attraction from the list of mental disorders. The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from the list in 1990.