Uganda’s president has distanced himself from the proposed bill that calls for the execution of some gay people, reports the BBC.
Earlier reports quoted Uganda’s ethics minister, who said that the president “doesn’t believe in killing gays,” and that the “death penalty is likely to be removed.” But it’s still unclear whether Uganda will press ahead with the proposed life imprisonment for anyone convicted of a homosexual act. Homosexuality is already a crime in Uganda, punishable with up to 14 years in prison.
In what the BBC says are president Yoweri Museveni’s first public comments on the issue, the president says handling of the anti-gay bill “must take into account our foreign policy interests."
"The prime minister of Canada came to see me and what was he talking about? Gays,” Museveni said. “[UK] Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to see me and what was he talking about? Gays. Mrs Clinton [the US secretary of state] rang me. What was she talking about? Gays.”
At a Commonwealth meeting in November, Prime Minister Stephen Harper reportedly met with Museveni in private to discuss the anti-gay bill.
Read more on Xtra.ca:
- Ugandan lawmaker refuses to withdraw anti-gay bill
- Ties between US evangelicals and Uganda’s anti-gay bill
- Toronto protests Uganda’s anti-gay bill
- Uganda’s anti-gay bill still includes death penalty
- Growing international outrage over Uganda’s anti-gay bill
- Raising Uganda: Did Harper do enough?
- Religious forces behind Uganda’s anti-gay bill