Uganda Government Voices Opposition to Anti-Gay Bill

Posted February 9th, 2012 at 6:35 am (UTC-5)
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The Ugandan government says it does not support a controversial anti-homosexuality bill that was re-introduced to parliament last week.

A government statement released late Wednesday said neither the prime minister nor the cabinet support the bill, and that it is not part of the government's legislative agenda. But it added that lawmakers have the constitutional right to debate the proposed legislation.

The original legislation would impose a death sentence for certain homosexual acts and life imprisonment for others.

The bill was re-introduced in parliament this week after lawmakers decided to pass over it during last year's session.

The lawmaker behind the bill, David Bahati, says he has re-written it to remove the death penalty.

The bill has drawn condemnation from leaders in Europe and the United States, including President Barack Obama, who described it as “odious.”

Uganda is widely regarded as an oppressive environment for gays. Homosexuality is already illegal under Ugandan law.