At least 50 clerics have issued a fatwa (religious decree) that marriage with a transgender person is now lawful in Pakistan. The clerics associated with the little known Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat issued the religious edict here on Sunday.

The fatwa said a transgender person having “visible signs of being a male” may marry a woman or a transgender with “visible signs of being a female” and vice versa. It declared that robbing transgender people of their share in inheritance was unlawful and that parents who relieve their transgender sons/daughters of inheritance were “inviting the wrath of God”.

In Pakistan, As many as 50 clerics linked with Tanzeem Ittehad-i-Ummat have issued an edict that marriage with a transgender person is legal.

The clerics called upon the government to take action against such parents. The decree also reside upon societal attitudes towards transgenders. The fatwa while addressing common societal approaches towards transgenders termed ‘haraam’, an act that intends to “insult, tease or humiliate them.

Members of Bangladesh's transgender community and their supporters participate in a pride rally to mark one year since the government recognized them as a third gender in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
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The fatwa was issued by clerics including Pir Karamat Ali, Imran Hanfi, Masoodur Rehman, Abu Bakr Awan, Khalil Yousafi, Tahir Tabassum Qadri, Gulzar Naeemi, Gul Ateequi, Abdul Sattar Saeedi, Khizarul Islam and Intikhab Noori.

Regarding last ceremony, the fatwa also declared that funeral rituals for a transgender person would be similar as for any other Muslim man or woman. The clerics stressed the government to take serious action against such unfair parents.

Recently, the transgender community pushed efforts for equal rights after the murder of transgender activist Alisha who was shot eight times in Peshawar last month. Alisha was the fifth transgender person to be attacked in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this year. All victims were members of the Trans Action Alliance (TAA) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that has been working to protect the rights and liberties of transgender persons.

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