Tallinn, July 10: Russia's first openly transgender politician has abandoned plans to run in a gubernatorial election, saying that the country's latest anti-LGBTQ+ bill has eroded the support needed to register her candidacy.

Yulia Alyoshina had planned to represent the opposition Civil Initiative party at the polls in southern Siberia's Altai region in September, when it is to vote for a new governor. UK Suffers 'Biggest Ever' Ransomware Attack on National Health Service, Says Report.

Alyoshina intended to fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the course of her campaign and opposed a new bill outlawing gender affirming procedures in Russia. The legislation was initially approved by Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on June 14.

But the politician said Monday that she has been unable to gather the minimum number of signatures — 502 — needed from members of local municipal councils and village heads to take part. British Police Assessing Information From BBC Over Claim That Presenter Paid Teen for Explicit Photos.

Alyoshina wrote in a Telegram post Monday that 19 council members “were unequivocally ready to put their signatures in support of my nomination," while others initially supported her but later retracted their backing, citing the bill banning gender transitioning currently under consideration in the State Duma.

Introduced in 2012, Russia's “municipal filter” obliges candidates running for local office to collect signatures of support from members of municipal councils to join the electoral process. The requirement has been criticized by civil rights groups as a means for state officials to bar opposition candidates from the ballot.

Russia's LGBTQ+ community has been under growing pressure for a decade, with President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church embarking on a campaign to preserve what they deem the country's “traditional values.”

The proposed bill bans any “medical interventions aimed at changing the sex of a person” as well as changing one's gender in official documents and public records.

Senior lawmaker Pyotr Tolstoy, who is among the bill's sponsors, has said the law is intended to “protect Russia with its cultural and family values and traditions and to stop the infiltration of the Western anti-family ideology.”

The bill must receive three readings by the State Duma, but there is little doubt it will pass because about 400 members of the 450-seat house signed it, including the house speaker and the leaders of all political factions.

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