India's Supreme Court has agreed to review a lower court order legalizing being gay, the BBC reported, but has refused to put on hold the landmark judgment, which means gay sex has been decriminalized throughout India as the review moves forward.

Earlier in the month – 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 the Indian penal code.

The Delhi ruling faces two challenges: one by astrologer Suresh Kaushal and another by a yoga guru.

India's ancient scriptures and values support the 148-year-old law and gay sex spreads HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, argues Kaushal.

Human rights groups, including the United Nations and Human Rights Watch, say criminalizing gay sex slows the progress of HIV prevention services as gay men go underground, increasing the spread of the pandemic.

Government officials, who have yet to file a response, appear supportive but non-committal on the Delhi ruling. The Supreme Court has asked the government to file a response by September 14.

“We have taken note of sentiments expressed by cross sections of people and that is why the government is not hasty to form its opinion to be submitted to Supreme Court,” union law and justice minister M. Veerappa Moily told reporters Sunday, the Times of India reported.

While the gay community praised the Delhi ruling, religious groups have denounced it.