Being open about sexual orientation, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual person is a considered a taboo in many parts of Pakistan.
However, in large cities like Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, and even Peshawar there is a large community of LGBT. There is a growing number of individuals – especially those born to parents, who “even if they have not been educated abroad, are usually university graduates” and have some sort of understanding about evolution, sexuality, or both – who are coming out to their families and friends, as well as introducing them to their same-sex partne
Pakistan’s law criminalizing consensual same-sex dates back to October 6, 1860 under the colonial rule of British Raj. Written by Lord Macaulay, the Indian Penal Code 1860 (as it was named at the time) made same-sex sexual acts illegal under the Anglo-Saxon law of “Unnatural Offences”, known as carnal knowledge. After Pakistan received independence in 1947 the parliament decided to continue using the same penal code just with a new title Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860), PPC. Within the PPC, “Unnatural Offences” Article 377 states: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment […] for a term which shall not be less than two years nor more than ten years, and shall also be liable to fine”.
Disapproval of LGBT lifestyle also stems from religious and patriarchal beliefs. While sex between homosexual partners is extremely accessible with it being a social norm to walk holding hands, walk with having arms around the waist, kissing on the face, and to cuddle with the same gender; social stigma, disapproval, and discrimination of homosexuality makes it difficult for the LGBT community to have steady relationships.
The LGBT community is able to socialize, organize, date and even live together as couples, but usually discreetly.As a result of increasing liberalisation trends and increasing globalisation and social tolerance, public gay parties in Pakistan have been thriving for a number of years.
Pakistan does not have civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation. Same-sex marriages and civil unions in Pakistan have no legal recognition. The LGBT community in Pakistan has not formally begun to campaign for LGBT-rights, but there is growing tolerance for social gatherings of gay men in the cities. In what was seen as a historic move in 2009, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled in favor of the civil rights of transsexual citizens.
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