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Russian MP proposes ban on opposite sex names for kids

The initiative is aimed at protecting children from possible psychological problems, a high-ranking lawmaker has said

A draft law forbidding parents from giving male names to newborn girls and female names to boys has been prepared in the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, the deputy head of the legislature’s Commission on Family, Women and Children, Tatyana Butskaya has said.

“Incidents of parents assigning names to children that don’t match their gender have become more frequent,” Butskaya warned in an explanatory note to the draft, which was published on Tuesday.

One example mentioned by the MP, who is from the ruling United Russia Party, was of a girl recently being registered as “Mikhail,” which is a name traditionally given to boys in Russia.


Kids with names that don’t correspond to their gender might experience psychological problems due to this mismatch, she explained. According to Butskaya, the legislation, which she and her colleagues are proposing, is aimed at protecting the rights of children and making sure they develop properly.

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She reminded that currently numerals, numbers and any other signs, with the exception of hyphens, are forbidden from use during the state registration of a birth. However, clerks currently have no right to refuse the parents if they “purposefully” assign male names to girls and vice-versa, the MP stressed.

She clarified that the restrictions proposed in the draft won’t affect names that are considered to match both genders or such names as Misha, Pavla, Ivana and others, which might be associated with males in Russia, but are traditionally given to women in Slavic countries.


The bill is still being worked out, with MPs consulting with linguists on the best sources that the registration offices might use to properly identify if a name in question is male or female, Butskaya said.

Last week, the Russian Supreme Court outlawed the “international LGBT public movement” and all associated organizations in the country. This followed the signing of a law banning sex-change interventions by Russian President Vladimir Putin in July. State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin defended the move, saying that it was introduced to protect the country from what he called the Western “transgender industry.”

December 06, 2023 at 05:31PM


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