Civil RIGHTS

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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 partner.[4]

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”.[5]

 

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