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 next week.

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 lesbian person.

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 promiscuity.”

The BBC 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.”