The White House and the State
Department on Friday provided no comment on the news that Uganda is
preparing to debate an anti-gay bill.
A parliamentary spokeswoman on Thursday
confirmed that lawmakers will debate the bill, possibly as early as
The proposed legislation, first
introduced in 2009, would increase the penalties for being gay in a
nation where it is already punishable by up to life in prison. The
controversial bill proposes introducing the death sentence for people
repeatedly convicted of engaging in gay sex, as well as for any gay
person who has sex with a minor or exposes another person to HIV
through sexual contact. The bill would criminalize discussions of
homosexuality and penalize a person who knowingly rents to a gay or
The bill's text states it is protecting
“the cherished culture of the people of Uganda … against the
attempts of sexual rights activists to impose their values of sexual
on Friday quoted several sources as saying that the measure's latest
iteration removed the death penalty.
quoted a State Department spokesperson as saying that it has no
statement at this time but one is expected in the coming week.
Both President Barack Obama and
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have in the past condemned the
proposed legislation – Obama called it “odious.”