A bill before the Ugandan Parliament that would increase the penalties for having gay sex enjoys wide public support in the African nation, but a few brave Ugandans are speaking out against the proposal.

Bob Kabaziguruka from Kampala, the nation's largest city and its seat of government, is one of those people.

In a letter published last week by the Kampala-based Observer, Kabaziguruka, who is not gay, urged lawmakers to reject the bill that would outlaw gay sex and includes a death provision for repeat offenders and people who are HIV-positive.

“Personally, I believe Parliament is better off concentrating on issues such as the sorry state of our hospitals and other decaying institutions in the country rather than focusing on homosexuality and spreading homophobia,” he wrote.

“The Anti-Homosexuality Bill proposed by MP David Bahati is ditracting legislators from the issues that are most pressing for the long suffering Ugandans. According to the MP, God created man and woman and gay acts are against religious teachings, as well as African culture.”

“Perhaps this bill should be amended to include masturbation; it too should be criminalized. Masturbation is also against all religious teachings, African culture and the institution of marriage. God created man and woman not man and man, and certainly not man or woman to pleasure him or herself!”

Kabaziguruka told On Top Magazine that he wrote the letter, which included his full name, because “I felt this bill is irresponsible, dangerous and will encourage vigilantism.”

But the bill would also penalize gay allies such as Kabaziguruka. It would implore friends and family members to report a violation of the law within 24 hours. The bill would make the “promotion of homosexuality” illegal, effectively banning political organizations, broadcasters and publishers that advocate on behalf of gay rights.

While admitting that anti-gay sentiment is rife in Uganda, he said he did not fear a reprisal from the government.

“Not all media will publish such opinions though, but whenever possible, I do speak out on injustices including political issues which are less tolerated. I still believe that the purpose of this bill is to enhance the MP's popularity and not to address any assumed 'gay crisis'.”

He added that the silver lining in the proposed bill was the debate it has spurred.

“At least people are talking about being gay in Uganda and are openly challenging the guardians of our morality. This debate although unlikely to change all attitudes can only be good for the society in general.”

Despite increasing international pressure to kill the proposal, Bahati, the bill's sponsor, has refused to withdraw the legislation.