Target: Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
Goal: Repeal biased decree preventing homosexuals, transgenders, or the mentally ill from driving
Russia has listed homosexual and transgender people as having “mental disorders” which disqualify them from obtaining a driver’s license. The government, which last year made it illegal to advocate for gay rights, aims to cut back on driving accidents with the discriminatory law, which it claims will make the country’s roads safer.
The new law will prohibit anyone with “gender identity disorders, disorders of sexual preference and psychological and behavioral disorders associated with sexual development and orientation” from driving on Russian roads. The law will also apply to those with gambling or stealing addictions and other mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, or anxiety.
Russia recorded 28,000 fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents in 2012, or 55 deaths per 100,000 vehicles on the road, making it the worst industrialized country for road deaths. Comparatively, the United States reported 14 fatalities per 100,000 cars. Some experts blame a lack of driver training, poor enforcement of road laws, and unsafe roads.
While some medications for mental disorders can result in impaired driving skills, it is not the disorders themselves that cause poor driving. There is also no evidence to back up the government’s ridiculous assertion that sexual preference affects driving ability.
Removing driver’s licenses on the basis of sexual preference, mental illness, or gender orientation is discriminatory and unlikely to have any impact on road fatalities. Sign the petition below to demand that Russia repeal the decree in favor of a less prejudiced alternative.
Dear President Vladimir Putin,
A new decree prohibits homosexuals, transgenders, and the mentally ill from obtaining driver’s licenses. The decree lists the LGBT community, as well as those with unusual fetishes and gambling addictions, as having disorders similar to bi-polar or schizophrenia. This law uses prejudice, rather than evidence, to unfairly prevent minority groups from participating in an everyday activity.
While Russia has a high driver mortality rate, this has nothing to do with mental illness or sexual preference and is instead more likely related to poor driver training, unsafe roads, and inadequate enforcement of road safety laws. Rather than irrationally blaming minorities and forcing them off the road, Russia should address the root of the issue in a more productive manner. We, the undersigned, demand that the decree be repealed and that Russia instead work to better enforce existing driving laws.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dori via Creative Commons