The President of Uganda has threatened to veto the a controversial new bill that could see homosexuals sentenced to the death penalty or lifetime imprisonment.
US newspaper DC Agenda claims that President Yoweri Museveni pledged to US secretary of state for African affairs Jonnie Carson on two separate occasions that he would reject the bill currently making its way through parliament.
The bill’s sponsor, David Bahati MP, has argued that it will curb HIV infections and protect the “traditional family”.
It has been subject to worldwide condemnation and since the first reports emerged in mid-October, has received widespread media attention.
UK prime minister Gordon Brown told President Museveni last month of his concerns and the United Nations and the World Health Organisation have said that Uganda may lose the chance to host an important permanent Aids research organisation if the bill is passed.
Christian voice leader, Stephen Green commented: “What is at stake here is no less than Uganda ‘s status as a sovereign nation. Will they allow themselves to be bullied by Western secularists, or will they stand by their Christian values and the traditional African way of life?
“I hope and pray it will be the latter, and that the Western homosexuals and abortionists who are trying to corrupt their youth will be sent a firm message to stop their wickedness.”
Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution to strongly condemn the bill. It called on Ugandan authorities “not to approve the bill and to review their laws to decriminalise homosexuality”.
The resolution also reminded the Ugandan government of its legally-binding obligations under international treaties as well as its inability to withdraw from ratified international human rights treaties.
The legislation is scheduled for a final reading in January.