Activists welcome India gay ruling .
Gay rights activists in India say a ruling by the Delhi High Court decriminalising homosexuality in the country is a landmark. The judgement overturns a 148-year-old colonial law which described a same-sex relationship as an "unnatural offence".
VIKRAM DOCTOR, WRITER AND GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST
The ruling is a huge step forward. It is fantastic. I hope the government of India accepts the Delhi High Court decision. It has been an eight-year battle and I am glad it came through.
In one way it changes nothing - there are many gay couples in India anyway. In another way, it changes everything.
Till now we were considered to be criminals. If a gay couple wanted to buy a house together, it was not possible. No financial institute would even consider them.
Rights groups have long campaigned for a repeal of the law
I am not saying they can do this now but now we can start fighting.
There are gangs who target gays as they would not go to a police station for the fear of being booked themselves. Even some policemen are part of these gangs.
In Lucknow there has been an incident where even social activists working with MSMs (Men having Sex with Men) for HIV prevention have been detained by the police. And these incidents happen everywhere.
NITIN KARANI, GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST
For me, most importantly people who are afraid to come forward will be able to do so. It is very difficult to reach out to HIV-positive people.
Also families who use this section to scare their children and get them married forcibly won't be able to do so.
This ruling will contribute in making society's attitude more positive. Cases of police harassment may reduce. I have seen people driven to suicide. I hope this decision gives more confidence to gay people to come out, be less afraid.
ADITYA BANDYOPADHYAY, LAWYER AND GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST
We are elated. It's a path-breaking judgement. It's a historic judgement, it's India's Stonewall.
I think what now happens is that a lot of our fundamental rights and civic rights which were denied to us can now be reclaimed by us.
The government has so far been pandering to narrow parochial groups, religious groups but the court order shows that India is ruled by constitutional laws and not by vote-bank politics.
It's a fabulously written judgement, and it restores our faith in judiciary.
ANJALI GOPALAN, NAZ FOUNDATION WORKING ON HIV PREVENTION
We have finally entered the 21st Century. The government can't ignore this.
GAUTAM BHAN, GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST
This is a long-awaited and incredible judgement.
The judges in their verdict spoke about inclusivity, equality and dignity. They spoke about a vision of India as an open, tolerant society and to hear all this from the Delhi High Court was amazing.
SCOTT LONG, TRANSGENDER RIGHTS PROGRAM, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
This legal remnant of British colonialism has been used to deprive people of their basic rights for too long.
This long-awaited decision testifies to the reach of democracy and rights in India.
British colonisers introduced Section 377 to India in 1860. It became a model for similar sodomy laws imposed on other British colonies, and comparable provisions survive today from Singapore to Uganda.
Most of the world's sodomy laws are relics of colonialism. As the world's largest democracy, India has shown the way for other countries to rid themselves of these repressive burdens.
CELINA JAITLEY, BOLLYWOOD ACTRESS
I'm overwhelmed. It's great not to be criminalised for being a human being and what you do in your bedroom.
WENDELL RODRICKS, FASHION DESIGNER
It is a historic moment for all of India. It has been a long fight. Now, one is not a criminal when anyway one was not in the first place.
It is a move in the right direction and I would go further to say that India is not a religion-run state and this decision is restoring dignity to a community that has been fighting for a long time.