Russia Bans Drivers With 'Sex Disorders'

Rights group slams new 'road safety' law
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2015 1:39 AM CST
Russia Bans Drivers With 'Sex Disorders'
Cars advance slowly in heavy traffic on the embankment outside the Kremlin.   (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Russia is a dangerous place to drive, and authorities there seem to believe that getting transgender people off the roads will somehow make them safer. A new law tightens medical controls for drivers, and transgender people are among those classified with "disorders," meaning they can be refused driver's licenses, the BBC reports. Voyeurs, exhibitionists, fetishists, and others could also be banned under the law, which applies to people with "gender identity disorders, disorders of sexual preference, and psychological and behavioral disorders associated with sexual development and orientation," USA Today reports. People with schizophrenia and assorted "mood disorders" will also be banned from driving.

Gays and lesbians will still be allowed on the road: "Sexual orientation by itself is not to be regarded as a disorder," the law states. Human rights groups have denounced the new law, which psychiatrists warn could prevent people from seeking help out of fear of being banned from driving. Russia's accident rate is more than four times that of the US at 55 fatalities per 100,000 vehicles a year, adding up to 28,000 deaths a year. Less controversially, the law also bans blind people from driving, reports BuzzFeed. (More transgender stories.)

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