In a defiant move, two former Birmingham students applied for political asylum in the UK to create legal history by becoming the first Muslim lesbian couple to get married in a civil ceremony there.
According to an article published in the Birmingham Mail, Rehana Kausar, 34, and Sobia Kamar, 29, both from Pakistan, tied the knot at Leeds Registry Office in front of their solicitors and two Pakistani friends earlier this month.
The couple, who had received death threats both in the UK and in Pakistan, sought political asylum in Britain claiming that their lives would be in danger if they were to return to Pakistan.
In Pakistan, same-sex sexual acts are illegal and are considered to be against Islamic teachings. Those who flout the law are often targeted and in most extreme cases homosexuals have been murdered.
Kausar and Kamar said they had known each other for around three years after moving to Birmingham from Pakistan. They had begun living together as a couple in South Yorkshire for nearly a year.
Kausar, a master’s degree holder in economics from Punjab University, and her new partner both came to the UK to study business and health care management.
Kamar, originally from the Mirpur region of Azad Kashmir, said she loves her partner and described her as her “soul mate.”
The Civil Partnership Act 2004 in the UK gives same-sex couples rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage.