Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told a crowd this week that he signed a harsh anti-gay bill because being gay is a choice.

“It is not genetic. It is not congenital. It is behavior,” Museveni said. “That's why I said I'm now going to sign the bill, 'cause I'm convinced with the available information that these people are not born like that, they just learned. And they can unlearn what they have learned.”

Museveni spoke at a stadium in Kampala where 30,000 Ugandans had gathered to thank him for signing the legislation which allows up to life imprisonment for the crime of “aggravated homosexuality.”

About $118 million worth of aid has either been stopped or redirected by Western donors in response to the law.

“We don't need aid … because a country like Uganda is one of the riches on Earth,” Museveni told the cheering crowd.

MP David Bahati, who sponsored the bill, also spoke at the rally.

“We all agree that promotion of homosexuality is wrong. We all agree that recruitment of children into this terrible behavior is flat out wrong,” Bahati said.