India's Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated a ban on gay sex.

In 2009 – just days after gay activists staged Gay Pride parades in several cities for the first time – the Delhi High Court of India declared intercourse between two consenting members of the same sex legal.

The verdict overturned a law that banned gay sex in India, a holdover from British colonial rule, known as Section 377 of India's penal code. Violators of the law face up to 10 years in jail.

The Supreme Court threw out the lower court's ruling, saying only lawmakers could change Section 377.

Because the high court had refused to put on hold the lower court's landmark judgment as an appeal moved forward, Wednesday's ruling shocked gay rights activists.

“You can't go back in the closet. There isn't any such closet now that I can go back to,” gay rights activist Ashok Row Kavi told the AFP. “The point is that people are going to get very, very afraid. Those who are in the closet are not going to come out so easily, one. And secondly, those who are out, now have to really be want it, about how their lives are going to be.”

“It's a black day for us,” Anjali Gopalan, executive director of the Naz Foundation, which worked on the legal challenge, told Reuters. “I feel exhausted right now, thinking that we have been set back by 100 years.”

Baba Ramdev, a Hindu spiritual leader opposed to gay rights, said that the Supreme Court's ruling honors “the sentiments of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and those who believe in morality.”

“Today they are talking about men having sexual relationships with men, women with women; tomorrow they will talk of sexual relationships with animals,” Ramdev told Reuters.