Pak­istan cler­ics back trans­gen­der mar­riage

The Daily Telegraph - - World News - By Mo­ham­mad Zubair Khan in Is­lam­abad and Andrew Marszal in New Delhi

FIFTY se­nior Pak­istani cler­ics have is­sued a re­li­gious de­cree declar­ing that trans­gen­der peo­ple have full mar­riage, in­her­i­tance and fu­neral rights under Is­lamic law.

The fatwa stated that a fe­male-born trans­gen­der per­son hav­ing “vis­i­ble signs of be­ing a male” may marry a woman or a male-born trans­gen­der with “vis­i­ble signs of be­ing a fe­male”, and vice versa. How­ever, it ruled that a trans­gen­der per­son car­ry­ing “vis­i­ble signs of both gen­ders” – or in­ter­sex – may not marry any­one.

It is cur­rently im­pos­si­ble for trans­gen­der peo­ple to marry in Pak­istan, where same-sex mar­riage re­mains pun­ish­able by life im­pris­on­ment and no “third gen­der” is recog­nised on of­fi­cial iden­tity cards.

The fatwa also de­clared that any act in­tended to “hu­mil­i­ate, in­sult or tease” the com­mu­nity was “sin­ful” and that trans­gen­der per­sons should not be de­prived of fam­ily in­her­i­tances, nor the right to be buried in Mus­lim cer­emo- nies. Tanzeem It­te­had-i-Um­mat, the re­li­gious law or­gan­i­sa­tion that is­sued the fatwa, is not a po­lit­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion and its rul­ings are not legally bind­ing. But the group wields in­flu­ence due to its tens of thou­sands of fol­low­ers across Pak­istan.

Its state­ment was cel­e­brated last night as a mo­ment of good news for Pak­istan’s marginalised trans­gen­ders, at a time when the com­mu­nity is in­creas­ingly be­ing tar­geted in at­tacks.

Ac­tivists wel­comed the fatwa and called on Pak­istan’s gov­ern­ment to cod­ify it with bind­ing leg­is­la­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.