Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has compared a proposed anti-gay bill in Uganda to Nazi Germany.

In a statement released Sunday, the 82-year-old Tutu pleaded with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to veto the bill which imposes harsh life sentences for people repeatedly convicted of having consensual sex with a member of the same sex.

The South African Anglican cleric – known for his stance against apartheid – said he was “very disheartened” to learn that Museveni had decided to sign the legislation into law. (On Sunday, it was reported that Museveni had postponed his decision.)

“In South Africa, apartheid police used to rush into bedrooms where whites were suspected of making love to blacks,” Tutu is quoted as saying in a statement by the AFP. “It was demeaning to those whose 'crime' was to love each other, it was demeaning to the police – and it was a blot on our entire society.”

“The history of people is littered with attempts to legislate against love or marriage across class, caste and race.”

“But there is no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love. There is only the grace of God. There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification.”

“Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, among others, attest to these facts,” he said.

Tutu called on Museveni to reject the bill.

“My plea to President Museveni is to use his country's debate around the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a catalyst to further strengthen the culture of human rights and justice in Uganda.”