From July 1, psychoneurological dispensaries and polyclinics in Russia will have sexologist offices where doctors will help people “suffering from mental disorders related to sexual development and orientation”.
The text of the document states that the doctor-sexologist must help patients who have disorders of sexual development and orientation, sexual identity and sexual preference, as well as patients with “family and sexual disharmony, sexual dysfunction”.
In his work, the sexologist may apply “compulsory measures of medical nature” developed in conjunction with a psychiatrist, the order notes.
“The help of such a specialist [a sexologist] is necessary if a person wants to get rid of frigidity, impotence, or such sexual behavior disorders as fetishism, masochism, sadism, exhibitionism, and even with such, to put it mildly, non-standard preferences as autoeroticism, homosexuality, and zoophilia”, the official publication of federal laws, “Parlamentskaya Gazeta”, writes.
The wording used in the order coincides with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) which Russia adopted in 1997. According to this classification, homosexuality is not considered a mental disorder, says Ksenia Mikhailova, lawyer of the LGBT group Coming Out.
In this regard, the appearance of sexologist offices does not mean the beginning of conversion therapy, but given the amendments on the ban on sex reassignment and the law on LGBT propaganda adopted in the first reading, anything can be expected, emphasizes Mikhaylova.
“Based on the fact that legislation concerning public displays of non-heterosexual orientation or the positioning of a person as a trans person is becoming increasingly stricter, there are reasonable concerns that such specialists will not follow ICD-10 and modern treatment protocols”, Mikhailova notes.
Last December, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning LGBT propaganda. The bill introduces administrative responsibility for “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations, pedophilia and sex reassignment among children and adults”.
For violation of the law by citizens will be fined from 100 to 200 thousand rubles. By officials – from 200 to 400 thousand rubles. Legal entities could be fined from 1 to 2 million rubles.