Ugandan President to Sign Anti-Homosexuality Bill that Imposes ‘Lifetime Jail’ to Gay People

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By Gopi Chandra Kharel | February 15, 2014 7:33 PM EST

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is set to sign an anti-homosexuality bill that would impose a life sentence on anyone who engages into homosexual acts, a government spokesman has said.

Reuters
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni attends the opening ceremony of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2014 file photo.

A spokesperson for the government of Uganda confirmed that the President was going to sign the bill after "medical experts presented a report that homosexuality is not genetic but a social behavior".

Museveni had said that he would sign the bill if he was given a scientific proof that homosexuality is not genetic, according to a Buzz Feed article published in January.

The president had earlier criticized the parliament for passing the legislation against homosexuality and had said in December that he had come to believe that homosexuality was a biological "abnormality" and not something that should been deemed as "crime" although he believed that homosexual people were 'sick'. He had also told international human rights activists that he would reject the bill.

But Friday's announcement came as a complete surprise as the President seems to be taking a reversed position. The imminent signing of the law, as the Time Magazine notes, is likely to invite stiffer international pressure on Uganda with the possibility of some nations even suspending aid to the African nation.

Museveni is reported to have made his announcement during a retreat in the presence of members of his party, the National Resistance Movement. As the party has been focusing on a strong leadership call, Museveni is thought to have been facing stiff pressures from his co-members to accept and sign the bill. 

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni attends the opening ceremony of the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 30, 2014 file photo.
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