Pakistan Now Protects Transgender Rights Better Than TexasApril 27, 2011 1 Comment
Two big changes regarding transgender rights have been proposed this week. One would legally recognize transgendered citizens as a third gender, and one would refuse to recognize a sex change. Let’s see if you can guess which law was proposed in the US and which in Pakistan.
If you guessed that Pakistan proposed recognizing a third gender, congratulations! You are correct in thinking that Pakistan is ahead of Texas when it comes to human rights. The West often hails itself as a champion of equal rights while looking down at third world countries for their backward ways. These two laws show how hypocritical that mindset is.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday that “any Pakistani who does not consider themselves male or female should be allowed to choose an alternative sex when applying for national ID cards.” The same day this decision was made, it was reported that a Texas law that would refuse to recognize a citizen’s transgendered status or sexual reassignment surgery on legal documents. Frankly, this is embarrassing. Texas legislatures should be humiliated. Politicians go on and on about bringing democracy and freedom to the Middle East when some US states are just as backwards.
Many transgendered people don’t like either option and would prefer to be recognized as their chosen gender. However, the judgment in Pakistan is a big step in the right direction.
The fun Catch-22 of the Texas law is that it may actually legalize some gay marriages. Texas Senator Tommy Williams’ law would make it so that if a citizen had a sex change operation from a man to a woman, they would still be legally seen as a man. So if a transgendered women falls in love with a lesbian and goes to a Texas church to get married, she must legally be recognized as a man. Therefore, she can legally marry her girlfriend.
Not only is this law offensive, it is clearly ignorant as well. It is true that many people in other countries have few rights, and that needs to be changed. But the US should point their incessantly wagging finger at themselves for a change. The fact that Pakistan is recognizing transgendered rights faster then we are should be a wake up call for every American.
Contact the author here: JennY@morningquickie.com