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Mainstream, VOL 60 No 49 November 26, 2022

2022 Edition of ’Less Than Gay’ - Citizens’ Report on the status of Homosexuality in India is released | ABVA

Saturday 26 November 2022


AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan (ABVA)


[Nov 25, 2022]

The AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan (ABVA) is releasing the second edition of ‘Less than Gay’ – A Citizens’ Report on the status of Homosexuality in India. The first edition of the Report – co-authored by seven members – was published in November 1991.

This edition has a long essay running into 18,360 words in the form of an introduction written by Shobha Aggarwal, advocate and member, ABVA. It details the struggle of ABVA (1988-89 till date) for the full repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which had criminalised gay sex. ABVA has been submitting its Charter of Demands to the concerned authorities for acceptance of full rights of sexual minorities including same-sex marriage, child adoption, inheritance rights etc. ABVA demanded privacy rights in 1991 which was conceded by the Supreme Court in 2017. The Charter of Demands is detailed on page 209 of the ‘Less than Gay’.

The full Report is available here.


ABVA strongly advocates a continuous, peaceful democratic struggle of like-minded organisations/people for getting the Charter of Demands implemented. The judiciary has a very limited role in this regard. The Indian Parliament should be forced to debate all issues concerning the LGBTQIA community. So far Parliament has resisted this move leaving it to the courts to adjudicate the matter.

ABVA is of the opinion that it is a ploy to convert a political struggle to narrow, legalistic framework. The reversal of abortion rights in USA granted a few decades earlier – have been engineered by the present set of judges in the Supreme Court of USA in an increasingly right-wing, nationalist environment. This should be an eye-opener for all gay-rights activists in India so that the limited relief granted in 2018 Supreme Court judgement is not reversed by a larger Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in future. Will such a larger bench show the courage to repeal Section 377 in toto?


ABVA is sending a copy of the second edition of ‘Less than Gay’ to the Union Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs for addressing the full Charter of Demands which is long pending. ABVA appeals to all concerned citizens, social organisations, academicians, activists, researchers and authors to form a broad coalition of forces to undertake a sustained, continuous struggle. This political struggle should be non-party based. It should make inroads in broader sections of society viz elected representatives, students, trade-unions, professionals and others.

Eternal vigilance is the price citizens have to pay for ensuring liberty. To achieve this a sustained LGBTQIA movement has to be ensured – Now!

ABVA Collective

Email: aidsbhedbhavvirodhiandolan[at]


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