The French foreign ministry has attacked a bill in Uganda which would see gay people facing the death penalty.

“France expresses deep concern regarding the bill currently before the Ugandan parliament,” the foreign ministry said in a statement sent to AFP in Kampala yesterday.

“France reiterates its commitment to the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

American lawmakers have also expressed concern over the bill.

leana Ros-Lehtinen, (Republican, Miami), Tammy Baldwin, (Democrat, Wisconsin), Gary Ackerman, (Democrat, New York) and Howard Berman, (Democrat, California), have written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning that it had severe implications for the freedom and safety of gay people.

The letter said: “We write to raise serious concerns about the Anti-Homosexual Bill introduced in Uganda’s parliament earlier this month. This egregious bill represents one of the most extreme anti-equality measures ever proposed in any country and would create a legal pretext for depriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Ugandans of their liberty, and even their lives.”

The private member’s bill was tabled by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, of the ruling party.

It would create a new crime of “aggravated homosexuality”.

According to his bill, those convicted of having gay sex with disabled people and those under the 18 would face the death penalty.

Gay and human rights groups have condemned the proposed laws, saying they would violate basic human rights.

The bill also imposes life imprisonment on those who have homosexual sex. Although this is already the case in Uganda, the new law widens the definition of the offence.

Other offence include promoting homosexuality, aiding and abetting homosexuality and keeping a house “for purposes of homosexuality”.

In an article for the Uganda Observer yesterday, Bahati said that homosexuality was not a human right.

He added: ” We will never accept homosexuality for the sake of appeasing other countries or as an incentive for their money.”