The couple were accused of entering into a same-sex marriage, which is a crime in Pakistan (Envato Elements)
A court in Pakistan has ordered the formation of a medical board to do a ‘gender test’ on a trans man who is accused of changing his gender to marry a woman.
The couple have now been charged with having a same-sex marriage, a serious allegation in Pakistan where homosexuality is criminalised.
The case was heard by a single-member bench of the Rawalpindi registry of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday, (July 15).
According to the Express Tribune, Justice Sadaqat Ali heard that Ali Akash had transitioned and undergone gender-affirming surgery. Akash maintained this was the truth and said that he had the medical reports to prove it.
When asked by the court, the wife said that she was satisfied and happy with her marriage. She said that her husband was fulfilling all her needs responsibly and that she wanted to live with him.
Akash further asserted that the couple had entered into a free-will marriage and that his wife’s family was completely aware of the matter.
In fact, his wife’s paternal aunt also wanted to make him her son-in-law, but she reportedly turned him away and this marriage did not go ahead.
The judge ordered the medical superintendent of a local hospital to perform a ‘gender test’ on Akash and present a report by July 21.
The petitioner’s lawyers tried to argue their case but the judge refused to hear them, insisting they must first wait for the medical report.
Homosexuality is still illegal in Pakistan and the penal code punishes same-sex relations with up to ten years in prison.
However, despite this the country is increasingly accepting of trans people and passed a bill in 2018 which grants broad legal protections for the transgender community.
Transgender people also have full rights under Islamic inheritance law, and trans men are permitted to marry trans women.