Pakistani Man Hospitalized After Attempting to Open Gay Club

A Pakistani man is currently in a mental hospital after attempting to establish the country’s first gay club, according to a recent report.

The man, whose identity remains undisclosed, spoke to the Telegraph on Sunday shortly before his institutionalization. He explained that he submitted an application to the deputy commissioner of Abbottabad to open a gay club, which he tentatively named Lorenzo Gay Club.

The application reportedly stated that the club would serve as a “great convenience and resource for many homosexual, bisexual and even some heterosexual people residing in Abbottabad in particular, and in other parts of the country in general.” The application also mentioned that “there would be no gay (or non-gay) sex (other than kissing).”

The man was subsequently detained and transported to a mental hospital in Peshawar, approximately 125 miles west of Abbottabad, according to the report.

“I have started the struggle for the rights of the most neglected community in Pakistan and I will raise my voice in every forum,” the man told the Telegraph. “If the authorities refuse, then I will approach the court and I hope that like the Indian court, the Pakistani court will rule in favor of gay people.”

“I [speak] about human rights and I want everyone’s human rights to be defended,” he added.

According to the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Pakistan continues to criminalize homosexual acts through Section 377 of its national penal code.

“Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than two years nor more than ten years, and shall also be liable to a fine,” the law reads.

The OHCHR document states that Pakistan’s provisions against homosexual acts “have been found to constitute a clear violation of international human rights law.”

According to Human Dignity Trust, a non-profit organization based in London, only gay men are criminalized under the Pakistan Penal Code.

“There is some evidence of the law being enforced in recent years, with LGBT people occasionally being subject to arrest,” the non-profit’s website reads. “There have been consistent reports of discrimination and violence being committed against LGBT people in recent years, including murder, rape, assault, and the denial of basic rights and services.”

Digital reached out to the deputy commissioner of Abbottabad for comment.