Gay sex decriminalised: ‘I am here to tell parents to love their children no matter what’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/gay-sex-decriminalised-i-am-here-to-tell-parents-to-love-their-children-no-matter-what-5344014/

Gay sex decriminalised: ‘I am here to tell parents to love their children no matter what’

“We're 18 members and used to conduct our meetings at the Indian Coffee House, and would be called a ‘bunch of sodomisers’ at the time..."said P Sahni, a member of India's first AIDS activist movement called AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan.

Gay sex decriminalised: ‘I am here to tell parents to love their children no matter what’
The group lost the battle in 2001 but decades after ABVA was first formed, Sahni finds himself nervously pacing up and down the lawn of the Supreme Court. (PTI/Representational)

Among those eagerly awaiting the verdict on Section 377 of the IPC at the Supreme Court’s lawn was 67-year-old P Sahni, with a smile on his face and a bag full of stories. He was a member of India’s first AIDS activist movement called AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan (ABVA), which published Less Than Gay, a detailed report on the status of homosexuality in India, in 1991.

“We’re 18 members and used to conduct our meetings at the Indian Coffee House, and would be called a ‘bunch of sodomisers’ at the time… in 1994 we filed a petition for the repeal of Section 377 after health workers were not allowed to distribute condoms to male inmates in Tihar jail,” said Sahni.

Read | Gay sex decriminalised: Clerics protest order, hint at moving court

The group lost the battle in 2001 but decades after ABVA was first formed, Sahni finds himself nervously pacing up and down the lawn of the Supreme Court.

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“In 2009, the Delhi High Court showed the light and gave a landmark judgment… but in 2013, we reached square one. Today, we are back to feeling hopeful. I am here to feel the movement, 30 years later,”he said.

Also, there was 44-year-old Tantei, who flew down to Delhi from Mizoram to be with her daughter Ruth (22), who runs an LGBTQI support group at Kamla Nehru College called Nazariya. “My daughter is straight but she feels deeply about this… I am here to support her and to tell parents to love their children no matter what,” said Tantei.

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