A step forward for liberal thought in a country where liberalism is known to be choked. Pakistan has at least had 50 clerics have issued a fatwa (religious decree) declaring that transgender people have the right to get married in Islam. They also have the right to be buried in Muslim funerals and also have the right to inheritance. The fatwa issued by a little-known Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat — a clerical body in Lahore — stated that a transgender having “visible signs of being a male” may marry a woman or a 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.
The fatwa also included that any act intended to humiliate, insult or tease the community is “haraam”or sinful. It said the parents who deprived their transgender sons or daughters of inheritances were “inviting the wrath of God”. The clerics called the government to look into the matter.
The present law
Pakistan has some strict laws reserved for the transgenders in the country. Though in 2012, the Pakistani Supreme Court declared equal rights for transgenders citizens, including right to property and assets and right to vote; It is currently impossible for transgenders to marry in Pakistan, where gay marriage remains punishable by life imprisonment. The new fatwa has been welcomed by the Pakistani transgender community. Though the fatwa given by Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat is not legally binding, they have massive influence over a large section of followers across the country. This decision has the potential to change the mindset of people towards the transgender community.
The Logical Indian welcomes the change in approach towards the transgender community. We hope sooner than later, this could become a legally binding law for all citizens of Pakistan.