Homosexuality

Attempt to Start Gay Club Lands Pakistani Man in Mental Hospital

In a recent event in Pakistan, a man has been confined to a mental hospital after attempting to establish the country’s first gay club. The man, whose identity remains undisclosed, filed an application to open a gay club in Abbottabad, a conservative city in northern Pakistan.

The club was intended to serve as a safe space for homosexual, bisexual, and even some heterosexual individuals. The proposal included explicit assurances that no illegal activities, such as sexual acts on the premises, would occur, aiming to circumvent Pakistan’s stringent anti-sodomy laws.

Queer News Upset after Pakistani Man Sent to Mental Hospital After Attempt to Open Gay Club Video:

However, the local authorities’ response was swift and severe. The application was leaked on social media, triggering a fierce backlash from the public and political figures alike. Conservative politicians, particularly from the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI) parties, condemned the proposal vehemently. Naseer Khan Nazir, a PAT leader, warned of “very severe consequences” if the club were approved, while another politician threatened to burn down the establishment if it ever materialized.

According to Fox News, The man was detained by authorities and transported to a mental hospital in Peshawar, which is roughly 125 miles west of Abbottabad, according to the report.

“I have started the struggle for the rights of the most neglected community in Pakistan and I will raise my voice in every forum,” the man told the Telegraph. “If the authorities refuse, then I will approach the court and I hope that like the Indian court, the Pakistani court will rule in favor of gay people.”

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“I [speak] about human rights and I want everyone’s human rights to be defended,” he added.

“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than two years nor more than ten years, and shall also be liable to a fine,” the law reads.

The OHCHR document states that Pakistan’s provisions against homosexual acts “have been found to constitute a clear violation of international human rights law.”

Gay sex is illegal in Pakistan and can be punished by two years up to life in prison

According to Human Dignity Trust, a non-profit based in London, only gay men are criminalized under the Pakistan Penal Code.

“There is some evidence of the law being enforced in recent years, with LGBT people occasionally being subject to arrest,” the non-profit’s website reads. “There have been consistent reports of discrimination and violence being committed against LGBT people in recent years, including murder, rape, assault, and the denial of basic rights and services.”

The intense opposition reflects the broader societal norms in Pakistan, where homosexual acts are illegal and punishable by imprisonment. The country’s legal framework and cultural attitudes are heavily influenced by conservative interpretations of Islam, which view homosexuality as immoral and sinful.

Following the public outcry, the man was forcibly admitted to the Sarhad Hospital for psychiatric diseases in Peshawar on May 9, 2024. Reports indicate that his friends and supporters have been unable to contact him, raising concerns about his safety and well-being. One friend, speaking anonymously, expressed fears for his life, stating that the man is now “vulnerable” and that “anything could happen to him at any time.”

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Before his detention, the man had articulated his motivations clearly, stating that his efforts were rooted in a desire to advocate for human rights. He had expressed hope that, like India, Pakistan would eventually recognize and protect the rights of gay people. His actions, though controversial, were aimed at addressing what he described as the needs of “the most neglected community in Pakistan.”

The country’s legal stance on homosexuality, codified in Section 377 of the Pakistan Penal Code, criminalizes consensual same-sex relations, reflecting an enduring colonial legacy and deep-rooted religious conservatism.

The actions taken by Pakistani authorities, in this case, have drawn criticism from human rights advocates who argue that the treatment of the man is a blatant violation of his fundamental rights. Detaining an individual for advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, they argue, not only infringes on his freedom of expression but also perpetuates a climate of fear and discrimination against sexual minorities.

International human rights organizations have long criticized Pakistan for its treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals, urging reforms to decriminalize homosexuality and protect sexual minorities from violence and discrimination.

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Experienced journalist with a knack for storytelling and a commitment to delivering accurate news. Şenay has a passion for investigative reporting and shining a light on important issues.

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