Russia may ban surgery to change gender under draft bill: TASS

People protest against amendments to Russia's Constitution in Moscow

(Reuters) - Russia may ban doctors from performing surgery to change people's gender under a proposed new bill, the TASS news agency said on Tuesday, citing a copy of the legislation.

The bill would prohibit medical workers from "performing medical interventions designed to change the sex of a person", TASS said, but exempts surgery to treat congenital anomalies in children.

Surgery to treat congenital anomalies would only be permitted if approved by a "medical commission" at a federal public health institution, TASS said.

Under President Vladimir Putin, Russian lawmakers have increasingly denounced and cracked down on what they call "non-traditional" lifestyles they say are being promoted by the West.

Last year, parliament passed a new law which critics say effectively bans representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in public and in the media.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Gareth Jones)