Fifty top Pakistani clerics have issued a religious decree declaring that transgender people have full marriage, inheritance and funeral rights under Islamic law.
The fatwa stated that a female-born transgender person having “visible signs of being a male” may marry a woman or a male-born transgender with “visible signs of being a female”, and vice versa.
However, it ruled that a transgender person carrying “visible signs of both genders” – or intersex – may not marry anyone. It is currently impossible for transgenders to marry in Pakistan, where gay marriage remains punishable by life imprisonment, and no “third gender” is recognised on official identity cards.
The statement was celebrated as a rare moment of good news for Pakistan’s marginalised transgenders, at a time when the community is increasingly being targeted with physical attacks.