LGBT history in Pakistan

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The Colonial British government criminalized Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activities in India under section 377 of the Indian Penal code of 1860[1]Pakistan gained independence in 1947 and adapted the same laws regarding LGBT under the Pakistan Penal Code. The Pakistan Penal Code states, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than two years nor more than ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.[2]

In 1980s, the rules against LGBT community stiffened even more under the sixth president of Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. The punishment for homosexual activities increased to life imprisonment or even death by stoning as a result of the Sharia Law added to Pakistan Penal Code.[3]

Over the years, gay and transgender communities have been able to get in homosexual relationships, but with huge difficulties. The opposition from the law makes it extremely hard for the LGBT community to have strong and secure relationships. The religious leaders of Pakistan have consistently forbidden LGBT activities. They consider these activities to be immoral under the constitution of Islam[4]

Several homosexual individuals also insist that Pakistan can be a great place to be for gay people in certain ways. The city of Karachi in Pakistan has a large gay community network based in the city. LGBT parties and sex is available for homosexuals in cities like Karachi and Peshawar through secret underground links. The same-sex activity is thriving in the country despite being strictly opposed by the law. Homosexuals also interact with each other through online social media sites and smart phone apps. Social parties, meet ups, and other social gatherings are developed secretly for the LGBT community to attend. Gay individuals do not expose their sexual orientation in public and live a double life.[5]

Muhammad Ejaz,a paramedic in Pakistan, entered the homes of three men in Lahore he met on the gay social networking site, Manjam, and killed them. Two of the men were in their 20’s and one was middle-aged retired army major. It is not sure if the victims were openly gay. Eijaz stated, “I tried to convince them to stop their dirty acts, but they would not, so I decided to kill them"[6] The social networking site, Manjam, has since then not allowed any Pakistani individuals to sign up for the site for security reasons. Eijaz was taken into custody by the Pakistani Police which insisted that he had sex with the victims before killing them.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gupta, A. (2006). Section 377 and the Dignity. Economic and Political Weekly, 4815-4823. Retrieved August 10, 2014, from http://iglhrc.org/sites/default/files/15-1.pdf
  2. ^ Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860). (1860, October 6). Retrieved August 10, 2014, from http://www.pakistani.org/pakistan/legislation/1860/actXLVof1860.html
  3. ^ Barth, R. (2014, May 2). 'Manjam Murders' Spotlight Pakistan's Hidden, Flourishing Gay Scene | VICE News. Retrieved August 10, 2014, from https://news.vice.com/article/manjam-murders-spotlight-pakistans-hidden-flourishing-gay-scene
  4. ^ Azhar, M. (2013, August 26). Gay Pakistan: Where sex is available and relationships are difficult. Retrieved August 10, 2014, from http://www.bbc.com/news/23811826
  5. ^ Azhar, M. (2013, August 26). Gay Pakistan: Where sex is available and relationships are difficult. Retrieved August 10, 2014, from http://www.bbc.com/news/23811826
  6. ^ Barth, R. (2014, May 2). 'Manjam Murders' Spotlight Pakistan's Hidden, Flourishing Gay Scene | VICE News. Retrieved August 10, 2014, from https://news.vice.com/article/manjam-murders-spotlight-pakistans-hidden-flourishing-gay-scene
  7. ^ AFP. (2014, April 28). Lahore's serial killer 'wanted to teach gays a lesson' Retrieved August 10, 2014, from http://tribune.com.pk/story/701322/lahores-serial-killer-wanted-to-teach-gays-a-lesson/