Current Affairs

Trans man jailed in Pakistan over marriage

PinkNews Staff Writer May 22, 2007
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A couple have been jailed after doctors concluded the groom was actually a woman, despite gender reassignment surgery.

A court in Lahore, Pakistan said that Shumain Raj, 31, and Shahzina Tariq, 26, married last year, in defiance of Islamic law.

Mr Raj initially brought the marriage to the attention of the court, when he complained about threats from his wife’s relatives.

A warrant was issued by the Lahore High Court after the medics charged with examining Raj submitted their report.

“Neither Islam nor our law allows marriages of the same sex. This mistake cannot simply be overlooked,” Lahore High Court judge Khawaja Sharif told the couple.

“Why should a case be not registered against you for committing unnatural offence and telling lie.”

Mr Raj had given a sworn statement that he was a man and complained that his wife’s relatives and the police were threatening them with “dire consequences” if they didn’t divorce.

The court had then called the bride’s father, Tariq Hussain, who testified that Raj was a woman.

Mr Hussain urged the court to annul Mr Raj’s September marriage to his 26-year-old daughter, saying it was against Islam.

Ejaz Bhatty, a senior doctor who led the medical team told the Khaleej Times last week that the court medics concluded: “all the evidence supports that the person in question is a woman.”

Raj had told the medics he went to a doctor 16 years ago after noticing his voice had changed and he had started growing facial hair.

Later the same doctor had recommended gender reassignment surgery and had operated on Raj, removing her breasts and uterus.

Traditionally transsexualism along with homosexuality and cross-dressing are taboo subjects in Pakistan though as reported earlier this year there have been changes in this deeply conservative country.

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