Transgender people can now get legal sex reassignment surgery in the United Arab Emirates.
The government has passed Federal Decree No 4, a series of changes to reduce doctors’ criminal liability.
Under the new law, doctors can perform sex reassignment surgery as long as the patient shows they are suffering from gender dysphoria.
The law also requires the patient undergoing surgery to receive mental health care to ‘psychologically prepare’ patients for the transition.
The UAE, which comprises of emirates like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is the second state after Iran to legalize sex reassignment surgery.
A recent ruling in Lebanon saw trans people allowed to change genders on their legal documents.
This legal change is in the wake of campaigns for better understanding of sexual and gender minorities in predominantly Muslim-faith countries.
Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, a gay imam, has urged people to look at the Qu’ran more closely to understand the real teachings of Muhammad.
‘[Muhammad] housed who we would call gay or transgender, because they were men dressing like women and in make-up. He defended those people against those who wanted to kill them,’ he told Gay Star News.
‘This is the same thing with slaves, he called on people to make people free men or free women to clear themselves from the sin of owning slaves. So today, I do believe he would defend the rights of sexual minorities if the prophet was alive today. He preached for love and peace and we are now ready for this kind of equality.’