Pakistani lawmakers passed a landmark transgender rights law in 2018, but some are now arguing that the law contradicts Islamic teachings about gender identity.Transgender people in Pakistan can change their gender identity on previously issued government documents according to how they perceive it, as outlined in the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act.Some criticize the law’s provision allowing one to change gender as being un-Islamic and opening the door to same-sex marriage, which is currently illegal.
Trans rights activists, however, argue that the misinformed debate against the law is causing further harm to the transgender community.Senator Fawzia Arshad of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is pushing a new bill that would define transgender people according to the law as those who “keep one hole for urination," Vice reports.The previous bill already has a strange definition of a transgender person, since it not only defines a transgender person as someone whose gender identity is different than their gender assigned at birth, but someone who has both male and female sex characteristics —that is, someone who is intersex.This new proposal, the news site notes, represents rising dissent and misinformation campaigns targeting the laws protecting trans people.
These campaigns often go in line with these politicians' religious views on gender and sex."While Arshad’s awkwardly-worded proposal has bemused many, making some wonder if she knows the difference between a vagina and a urethra, there’s also a larger concern over the direction this movement is taking," Vice writes.
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