East Africa

Uganda’s gays face life in jail

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Uganda could soon be jailing homosexuals for life after the president said he intended to sign an anti-gay bill.

It comes after Yoweri Museveni received a report from ‘medical experts’ saying ‘homosexuality is not genetic but a social behaviour’, a government spokesman wrote on Twitter.

Homosexuality, which Museveni has called abnormal, is a crime in Uganda. The bill, approved by parliament in December, would legalise life imprisonment for some acts.

Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan president, is poised to sign a law which would make some homosexual acts punishable by up to life in prison

Museveni announced his decision to governing party lawmakers, said government spokesman Ofwono Opondo.

In Twitter posts on Friday, Opondo said the legislators, who are holding a retreat chaired by Museveni, ‘welcomed the development as a measure to protect Ugandans from social deviants.’

Evelyn Anite, a spokeswoman for the governing party, said the report, which had been requested by the president, was prepared by more than a dozen scientists from Uganda’s Health Ministry.

Opondo and Anite both said the president did not indicate when he will sign the legislation into law.

Homosexuality already is illegal in Uganda under a colonial-era law that criminalizes sex acts ‘against the order of nature.’

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