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Uganda: President will reportedly review anti-gay law

Yoweri Museveni says he'll sign it if it's 'right' or send it back to parliament

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni says he'll review an anti-gay bill that was passed Dec 20 before deciding whether to sign it into law or to send it back to parliament. Credit: ugandapicks.com

In response to a call from the head of Uganda's Pentecostal churches to sign off on an anti-gay bill that was passed in parliament Dec 20, President Yoweri Museveni has indicated he will review the measure before acting on it, New Vision reports.

According to the report, Museveni, who made the remarks at Christmas prayers, said he would assent to the bill if he agreed with it or send it back to parliament if he was not satisfied with its content.

Since the bill's passage, activists and human rights groups have called on Museveni to reject it.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird also called on Museveni not to assent to the bill, noting Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi's concerns about the status of the bill prior to the vote. Mbabazi had indicated that he didn't know the bill was up for debate Dec 20 and noted there was a lack of quorum.

Africa Review also quotes Museveni as saying that lawmakers did not consult him about the measure, that he had "told them to wait because I have a lot of work," but they went ahead anyway.

In condemning the bill and the "haphazard manner in which Members of Parliament passed it," advocacy group Sexual Minorities Uganda called on "the entire international community to remind Uganda of its international treaty obligations and to join hands against the Anti Homosexuality Bill."

A Copenhagen Post report notes that the bill's passage has put a question mark over Denmark's future aid to Uganda, saying Development Minister Rasmus Helveg Petersen has threatened to reroute development resources from government into the hands of "democratic forces" if Museveni signs the bill into law.