Out Abroad: Cardinals Challenge Pope on Same-sex Couples; Pakistan Resumes Issuing ID Cards to Trans People

Pope Francis. Photo by Edgar Jiménez from Porto, Portugal, via Wikimedia Commons

Cardinals challenge the pope on same-sex couples in Vatican, the top court in Mauritius decriminalizes same-sex couples, and Pakistan resumes issuing ID cards to trans people.

Cardinals Challenge Pope On Same-Sex Couples In Vatican

Catholic leaders have gathered for their bishops synod at the Vatican to discuss the future of the Church.

The event is two years in the making and has started on a controversial note.

According to Reuters, conservative Catholics are challenging Pope Francis and demanding clarifications on same-sex couples, the role of women in the church, acceptance of LGBT Catholics, and more.

Cardinals from Asia, Europe, Africa, the United States and Latin America said they sent the pope a set of formal questions, known as "dubia," about the gathering saying that they announced their concerns, "so that you [Pope Francis] may not be subject to confusion, error, and discouragement but rather may pray for the universal Church.”

Top Court In Mauritius Decriminalizes Same-Sex Couples


Jean-Daniel Wong, the manager of the Arc-en-Ciel Collective. Screenshot via Maurice Info, YouTube.

A law criminalizing same-sex relations has been struck down by The Supreme Court of Mauritius.

According to Reuters, the court said section 250 of the Mauritian criminal code, from 1898 during British colonial rule, was unconstitutional.

"As an out gay man in Mauritius, personally, there was kind of this Damocles sword hanging over our head. There is still a lot to do but … we have faith in our public institutions,” said Jean-Daniel Wong, the manager of the Arc-en-Ciel Collective, the largest LGBT advocacy group in Mauritius.

This historical act is going against other LGBTQ happenings in Africa, who are experiencing a regression of policy following Uganda’s new law that imposes the death penalty for same-sex relations.

Pakistan Resumes Issuing ID Cards To Trans People


Photo via Kami Sid, Facebook.

A Supreme Court Ruling in Pakistan brought back the ability for transgender people to register and receive an identity card.

In Pakistan, individuals need ID cards to open bank accounts, seek legal aid, report a crime to the police, ask for medical help, receive a passport, and more.

This right was first extended to trans people In 2019 after Pakistani MPs passed the Transgender Persons Act, a historic law that, according to The Washington Blade, guaranteed all the rights available for all citizens to trans people, and prohibited any discrimination based on gender identity.

However, religious political parties were not happy with the law and said it was un-Islamic. This led to a series of objections to the Act.

The most recent objection and change concerned the identity cards, and in June an Islamic court ordered all data acquisition units to stop the registration of trans people and to issue identity cards only to males or females.

“Right-wing political parties picked up the transgender issues in Parliament, and started hate speeches on transgender laws,” Nayyab Ali, a trans rights activist in Pakistan, told the Washington Blade. 

The ruling from June was reversed on the grounds that it denied trans people basic rights.


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