Russia may deny driver’s licenses to people with “sexual orientation disorders”

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On January 8, 2015, Russian government published a decree that was recently signed into law by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. In a continued backward slide, Russia now bans the issuance of driver’s licenses to people with “personality and behavior disorders” described in sections F60 through F69 of the International Classification of Diseases, published by the World Health Organization. While the Russian government claims that the new restrictions are meant to reduce the number of road accidents, in reality it serves as an extension of the ongoing crackdown against sexual minorities. The new decree is broad enough to be used as a retaliatory tool, banning the issuance of driver’s license to anyone who dares to publicly oppose dubious activities and the official position of the Russian government.

People may now be barred from driving in Russia based on a number of conditions described as “disorders,” including but not limited to the following WHO designations:

  • Gender identity disorders
  • Transsexualism
  • Dual-role transvestism
  • Gender identity disorder of adolescence or adulthood, non-transsexual type
  • Other gender identity disorders
  • Disorders of sexual preference
  • Fetishism
  • Fetishistic transvestism
  • Transvestic fetishism
  • Exhibitionism
  • Voyeurism
  • Sadomasochism
  • Masochism
  • Sadism
  • Making obscene telephone calls
  • Rubbing up against people for sexual stimulation in crowded public places
  • Sexual activity with animals
  • Use of strangulation or anoxia for intensifying sexual excitement
  • Frotteurism
  • Necrophilia
  • Hospital hopper syndrome
  • Dissocial personality disorder, characterized by disregard for social obligations, and callous unconcern for the feelings of others
  • Amoral personality disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Asocial personality disorder
  • Psychopathic personality disorder
  • Sociopathic personality disorder
  • Emotionally unstable personality disorder, characterized by a definite tendency to act impulsively and without consideration of the consequences; the mood is unpredictable and capricious. Two types may be distinguished: the impulsive type, characterized predominantly by emotional instability and lack of impulse control, and the borderline type, characterized in addition by disturbances in self-image, aims, and internal preferences, by chronic feelings of emptiness, by intense and unstable interpersonal relationships, and by a tendency to self-destructive behaviour, including suicide gestures and attempts.
  • Histrionic personality disorder, characterized by shallow and labile affectivity, self-dramatization, theatricality, exaggerated expression of emotions, suggestibility, egocentricity, self-indulgence, lack of consideration for others, easily hurt feelings, and continuous seeking for appreciation, excitement and attention.
  • Anankastic personality disorder, characterized by feelings of doubt, perfectionism, excessive conscientiousness, checking and preoccupation with details, stubbornness, caution, and rigidity.
  • Anxious [avoidant] personality disorder, characterized by feelings of tension and apprehension, insecurity and inferiority. There is a continuous yearning to be liked and accepted, a hypersensitivity to rejection and criticism with restricted personal attachments, and a tendency to avoid certain activities by habitual exaggeration of the potential dangers or risks in everyday situations.
  • Dependent personality disorder, characterized by pervasive passive reliance on other people to make one’s major and minor life decisions, great fear of abandonment, feelings of helplessness and incompetence, passive compliance with the wishes of elders and others, and a weak response to the demands of daily life.
  • Enduring personality change, present for at least two years, following exposure to catastrophic stress. The disorder is characterized by a hostile or distrustful attitude toward the world, social withdrawal, feelings of emptiness or hopelessness, a chronic feeling of “being on edge” as if constantly threatened, and estrangement.
  • Pathological gambling
  • Compulsive gambling
  • Pathological stealing [kleptomania]
  • Trichotillomania – a disorder characterized by noticeable hair-loss due to a recurrent failure to resist impulses to pull out hairs.

The Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights said that the new law is discriminatory and “demonstrates bias against certain individuals and groups of citizens,” while “significantly restricting the rights and freedoms of citizens as a whole.”

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