Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has
yet to say whether he will sign a controversial bill increasing the
penalties for gay sex in the African nation.
“There has been pressure from
religious leaders and parliament to sign the bill into law,” Tamale
Mirundi, a spokesman for the president, told
Museveni “won't rush to assent the
bill before he studies it” fully, Mirundi said.
“President Museveni is a practical
president, he takes decisions based on analysis and not on how many
support or are against it,” he added.
The measure, approved by lawmakers on
December 20, was first introduced in 2009 and drew international
condemnation for including the death penalty. The bill as passed
replaces capital punishment with life imprisonment for people
repeatedly convicted of having consensual sex with a member of the
same sex. The sentence can also be imposed in cases where one of the
partners is HIV-positive, a minor or disabled. The bill also seeks
to outlaw the promotion of homosexuality, effectively silencing
opponents of the measure.
United States has said that it was “deeply concerned by Ugandan
Parliament's passage of anti-homosexuality legislation.”
Tutu compared Uganda's anti-gay bill to apartheid.)