Mixed messages from UK, France govts/elites. Asking Muslims to integrate while legalizing “gay marriage.” Creates more barriers.
Two former Birmingham students have defied death threats to make legal history by becoming the first Muslim lesbian couple to get married in a civil ceremony in the UK.
Rehana Kausar, 34, and Sobia Kamar, 29, from Pakistan, tied the knot at a registration office in front of their solicitors and two Pakistani friends earlier this month.
The couple then immediately applied for political asylum in the UK claiming that their lives would be in danger if they were to return to their native Pakistan.
Relatives of the couple said the women had received death threats both in the UK and from opponents in their native Pakistan.
Being a lesbian, gay or transsexual person is a considered a taboo vice in parts of society of Pakistan and gay rights are close to non-existent.
According to Pakistani law, same-sex sexual acts are illegal and go against Islamic teachings.
Those who flout the law are often targeted and in the most extreme cases homosexuals have been murdered.
The country does not have civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of a person’s sexuality and same-sex marriages and civil unions in Pakistan have no legal recognition.
But the potential threat to their lives didn’t stop Ms Kausar and Ms Kamar from going ahead with their marriage at Leeds Registry Office.
Wearing a traditional white bridal dress, the couple told the Registrar that they had known each other for around three years after moving to Birmingham from Pakistan on student visas.
They said they had later began living together as a couple in South Yorkshire for nearly a year.
Ms Kausar, a master’s degree holder in economics from Punjab University, and her new partner both came to the UK to study business and health care management.
Ms Kausar, originally from Lahore, said: “This country allows us rights and it’s a very personal decision that we have taken. It’s no one’s business as to what we do with our personal lives.
“The problem with Pakistan is that everyone believes he is in charge of other people lives and can best decide about the morals of others but that’s not the right approach and we are in this state because of our clergy, who have hijacked our society which was once a tolerant society and respected individuals freedoms.”
Ms Kamar, originally from the Mirpur region of Azad Kashmir, said she loves her partner and described her as her “soul mate.”