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 AFP.

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.

The United States has said that it was “deeply concerned by Ugandan Parliament's passage of anti-homosexuality legislation.”

(Relate: Desmond Tutu compared Uganda's anti-gay bill to apartheid.)