The Indian Supreme Court is expected to give a final ruling on repealing the ban on gay sex next month.

Last year, the Delhi High Court ruled that the colonial-era law was unconstitutional. Although this decision applied only to the jurisdiction of Delhi, gay rights campaigners hope it will persuade other areas to follow suit.

Today, a Channel 4 News Online report suggested that along with legislative change, attitudes to homosexuality in the capital were slowly becoming more positive, with gay Bollywood storylines and even a gay pride shop.

However, the importance of marriage in society means that many gay men are still expected to marry women.

Anjali Gopalan of gay rights group the Naz Foundation told the news service: “I think a lot of men in this country are having sex with men and they don’t necessarily have the gay identity.

“Most men who have a gay identity are the upper class, westernised, English-speaking people.

“Most men who have sex with men want to get married because the whole idea of getting married is about providing security for their parents and having somebody to look after them in their old age.”

Gay rights campaigners had argued that the law was not only unconstitutional but was also hampering efforts to fight HIV.

Section 377 was enacted in 1860 under the British Raj, in line with the anti-sodomy laws in England at the time.

It punishes anyone who “voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal” by imprisonment and criminalises a whole range of sexual acts from mutual masturbation, to fellatio and anal sex.

Offenders can expect up to ten years in prison.

To see the Channel 4 report, scroll down.