Pakistan’s transgender bill falsely linked to homosexuality

Pakistan’s transgender bill falsely linked to homosexuality
Source: © Alexander Grey / Pexels, 2020

23-09-2022

Catherine Yu 

Pakistan & Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence



In 2018 The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act was passed, this measure was initiated in order to offer juridical recognition to safeguard fundamental rights for transgender individuals. Furthermore, this bill forbids any form of discrimination against transgender individuals, and those who do so will face penalty. However, during a press conference on Wednesday, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman of a religious political party stated that this bill violates Islamic principles and should be repealed immediately. Fazlur Rehman further noted that “Our team is busy preparing a draft which will be tabled in the assembly soon. No law that is against the spirit of Quran and Sunnah will be allowed to be passed as the parliament has no right to pass any bill that runs counter to the Quran and Sunnah” (Fazlur Rehman, 2022). 

On September 16, false information began to circulate on social media after "some friends" of Mister for Law Azam Nazeer Tarar claimed that the law allowing transgender individuals who have reached the age of 18 to proclaim their gender on their identification card would encourage homosexuality and hence violates Islamic principle. Tarar rejects this statement, claiming that the law never makes it clear that anyone can be transgender. Rather, it specifies that a transgender person is defined as someone who is "intersex”, a “person whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth” (Geo Fact-Check, 2022).  Tarar further notes that this law was passed directly for the means of human rights, along with expecting “Pakistani people to [understand] that these people [transgender persons] are Pakistanis, they are a part of the society […] we can at least look at them in the society in a way which doesn’t violate their rights,” (Tarar, 2022). 

Sources and further reading:

Dawn. (2022, September 22). Govt rejects criticism on transgender bill, says linking it to homosexuality is 'misconception'. DAWN.COM. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://www.dawn.com/news/1711427/govt-rejects-criticism-on-transgender-bill-says-linking-it-to-homosexuality-is-misconception 

Geo Fact-Check. (2022, September 23). Fact-check: Social media posts, politicians share incorrect claims about Pakistan's transgender law. Geo.tv: Latest News Breaking Pakistan, World, Live Videos. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://www.geo.tv/latest/442072-fact-check-social-media-posts-politicians-share-incorrect-claims-about-pakistans-transgender-act 

Tarar, A.N. (2022) Dawn. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://www.dawn.com/news/1711427/govt-rejects-criticism-on-transgender-bill-says-linking-it-to-homosexuality-is-misconception 

Fazlur Rehman, M. (2022) Dawn. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from https://www.dawn.com/news/1711427/govt-rejects-criticism-on-transgender-bill-says-linking-it-to-homosexuality-is-misconception