Pakistani women become UK's first married Muslim gay couple
Rehana Kausar (34), and Sobia Kamar (29), defied death threats when they tied the knot in a register office civil ceremony on Sunday.
Watched by their solicitors and two friends, the pair wore traditional white bridal dresses as they wed in Leeds, West Yorks. The pair, from the Lahore and Mirpur regions of Pakistan, immediately applied for political asylum after the ceremony, claiming their lives would be in danger if they returned to their native country.
Both women said they had received death threats from opponents in Pakistan - where homosexual relationships are illegal and considered against Islam.
Since news of their wedding earlier this month spread, the pair claim they have even received death threats from within the UK.
The danger was so great that even the registrar advised the couple to give serious thought to their decision to marry. Rehana, who met Sobia in Birmingham when they were both students, described her partner as her “soul mate” and said they were deeply in love.
She added: “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.”
She further said, “The problem with Pakistan is that everyone believes he is in charge of other people’s 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.”
After graduating from Birmingham, the couple started living together as a couple in South Yorkshire, where they spent a year before deciding to wed.
A relative said, “The couple did not have an Islamic marriage ceremony, known as a nikah, as they could not find an Imam to conduct what would have been a controversial ceremony. They have been very brave throughout as our religion does not condone homosexuality.” Pakistani law does not recognise same-sex marriages and there are no laws to stop discrimination.