Pakistani trans couple locked up for ‘gay’ wedding

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A man and a trans woman are in custody for holding a ‘gay’ wedding in Pakistan.

Malik Muhammad Iqbal is accused of marrying a trans woman known only as Rani in a ceremony in Peshawar last week.

In the eyes of local police, this is seen as a gay wedding. Homosexuality is illegal in Pakistan and is punished by up to ten years in jail.

Rani, a 19-year-old who was born male but lives as a woman, says 42-year-old Iqbal, a fertiliser dealer, is a friend, not a lover.

Both deny they attempted to get married and Rani said they and 43 other guests had been celebrating her birthday.

But police say they have evidence including photos and a wedding dress.

Peshawar police Chief Shoukat Ali told CNN: “Our investigation shows this man likes these people more than women. He admitted it.

“This is a psychological disease when men are attracted to men and not attracted to women.”

The pair are in custody and police say they will face sodomy charges.

In Pakistan, trans women are known as hijras and human rights groups estimated their numbers at around 400,000.

They are often subject to oppression and harassment and some are forced to earn a living through begging and prostitution.

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