A Pakistani man, who wanted to establish the country’s first gay club, was reportedly sent to a mental hospital.

According to reports, the man wanted to raise his voice for the “most neglected community.”

The unidentified man filed an application with the deputy commissioner (DC) to set up the gay club in Abbottabad.

NDTV reports:

In his application, the man stated that the club, tentatively called ‘Lorenzo Gay Club’, was to be 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 Telegraph reported.

Gay sex is illegal in Pakistan, and it can lead to up to two years in prison. While these laws are rarely applied, the conservative religious culture in Pakistan has made it difficult to be openly homosexual, the outlet revealed.

The application further said that in the envisaged gay club, “there would be no gay (or non-gay) sex (other than kissing).” A notice on the wall would warn against “sex on premises,” the application mentioned.

“This would mean that no legal constraints (even obsolete ones like [anti-sodomy] PPC section 377) would be flouted on the premises,” it added.

Before being sent to the mental hospital in Peshawar, the man told the news outlet, “I talk about human rights and I want everyone’s human rights to be defended”.

“I have started the struggle for the rights of the most neglected community in Pakistan and I will raise my voice in every forum,” he 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,” he added.

Per Fox News:

According to the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Pakistan still criminalizes 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 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.”

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