As per the constitution of Pakistan, there is no specific judgement regarding constitutional enforcement of the rights of sexual orientation. It does not contain any provisions related to LGBTQ rights in Pakistan. As Islam is the official state religion of Pakistan, all the laws, regulations, and such legislation must be compatible with Islam, which is specifically defined by the government-appointed Islamic council.
Public opinion on LGBT politics is complex. In June 2013, the Pew Research Center reported that of the 39 countries surveyed, Pakistan was one of the least accepting of homosexuality, with 87% of respondents saying “society should not accept homosexuality.” It is a criminal act and is punishable under Article 377 CR.PC.
Punishment: from two years to life imprisonment, a fine, or both. Hudood regulations, which theoretically allow the death penalty but have not been enforced since 1985, have never been used to prosecute homosexual acts.
In 2018, Pakistan passed a bill to protect the rights of transgender people, which was largely opposed by the public because of the misconception that transgender people have LGBTQ rights. There is a difference between them because a transgender person is transgender by birth, while LGBTQ people of the same gender change their gender according to their desire and also get married, which is forbidden in Islam and violates the laws of the land.
In this bill, transgender people are given many rights, which are listed below:
- Right to education
- Right to vote
- Right to hold public office
- Right to employment
- Right to assembly
- Right to health
- Right to access public places and the most important
- Right to inherit
Authored by Yasir Gill, Legal Intern, LawDiktat
Edited by Sahid, Team Member, LawDiktat.