28 Jun 2016

Pakistan Makes Transgender Marriages, Inheritances & Funerals Legal Under Islam. Where’s India?

Being a trans man or a woman, or even being a trans activist has been proved fatal for many citizens in Pakistan. Last month a trans-woman was shot in her own house in Northern Pakistan. Another trans activist was shot in May and she died because she was denied medical treatment.

Due to the taboo status, trans people and activists receive very little co-operation and protection from the authorities However, on Sunday, there was a pleasant turn of events where a fatwa was released that called on Pakistan’s government to codify the decree with binding legislation.

50 top clerics have issued a religious decree that trans people shall have all the marriage, inheritance and funeral rights under the 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.

Currently trans people are not allowed to get married in Pakistan, having a homosexual relationship is punishable by life sentence, there is no acknowledgment for the existence of a third gender in the State. So in a way, this new fatwa brings a slight ray of hope to the LGBTQ people in Pakistan.

“The new fatwa also declared that any act intended to “humiliate, insult or tease” the community was “haraam” (sinful), and that transgender persons should not be deprived of family inheritances, nor the right to be buried in Muslim ceremonies.
Muhammad Zia Ul Haq Naqshbandi, the Lahore-based head of the Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat religious law organisation that issued the fatwa, said parents who deprived their transgender sons or daughters of inheritances were “inviting the wrath of God”.”

“This is the first time in history that Muslim clerics have raised their voices in support of the rights of transgender persons,” said Qamar Naseem, a transgender community activist. “But we have to go further for transgender people and the country needs to introduce legislation on it”.

Parveen, another transgender activist, also called upon the government to introduce a transgender option, along with male and female, on Pakistan’s official national identity cards.

Maybe India should take a leaf out of Pakistan’s books and do something substantial about trans marriage.
Source - Youth Connect

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