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Friday, 1 July 2016

You may not Marry

The Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat Pakistan passed a fatwa which states that "any action intended to humiliate, insult or tease" transgender people should be considered a crime against Islam. Finally, an acknowledgement of a marginalized group. A step in the right direction, though it is shameful that we need to be told that we should not humiliate, insult or tease other people.
   But the fatwa continues on to say that only those transgender people with "visible signs" of being male or female may marry someone of the opposite sex. However, persons born with "visible signs of both genders" may not marry. You have to scratch your head and wonder why not?
    What is a marriage? Is it only about procreation or is it about companionship and caring for another human being? If it is just the former then this part of the fatwa makes sense, but if we are more then just procreating animals, if we have even an ounce of finer emotion in us then this part of the fatwa is nonsensical.
    What crime are we punishing persons with both parts for? Why should we deny them the legal rights afforded to the rest of us by marriage? Will we examine the private parts of all individuals wanting to marry to ensure that they have the  "correct" anatomy? Which committee of religious leaders will take on this onerous task of examining that entire nation's private parts?
     And then stupid me realized why the fatwa had imposed this perverse condition:greater focus is on denying gay rights than establishing transgender rights. Only if you are visibly male and visibly female do you have the right to live and love freely with legal protections, but if Allah sent you to this world with both parts then you must live and die alone and if you happen to care for someone of your own gender than we will deny you the right to live in matrimonial harmony. We will insist that we are just following Allah's commands, even though the religion talks of progressing with the times and above all else, being kind; we will fling our arms in the air and shout that our Allah is more interested in who does what with whom in their bedrooms than in equality and love.
    Peace on all. Oh, no, sorry. We meant peace on all, save the ones we feel we must decriminate against by withholding basic rights.

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