Russian lawmakers on Friday voted in favor of a bill to make gender reassignment illegal. “The State Duma banned gender reassignment in Russia,” the lower house said in a statement, adding that political parties had voted to introduce the new laws “unanimously.” “This decision will protect our citizens and our children,” State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said in a statement on social media. Volodin went on to criticize the rate of reassignment surgeries in the United States, adding: “It is a path leading to the degeneration of their nation. This is unacceptable for us.” It is the third and final reading of the bill in the lower house of parliament. The new legislation must now go before the upper house and then onward to President Vladimir Putin to be signed into law.