Pakistan’s Progressive Transgender Law Faces Opposition 4 Years Later

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09/28/2022

Pakistan is considering amending a landmark transgender rights bill passed in 2018 that some legislators and clerics argue contradicts Islamic teachings on gender identity. Rights activists, however, say the law is being misunderstood and the “misinformed” debate against it is further endangering the transgender community. Hailed as among the more progressive laws on transgender rights globally by the International Commission of Jurists, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act gave transgender people in Pakistan the right to choose their gender identity as they perceived it themselves and to change it on previously issued government documents. Opponents of the law claim the provision to choose or change one’s gender is un-Islamic and could open the door to same-sex marriage, currently prohibited in Pakistan.

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