RSS Feeds

Ugandan president set to sign anti-gay measure

Friday - 2/21/2014, 12:30pm  ET

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) -- The president of Uganda is signaling that he's ready to sign into law a controversial anti-gay bill.

In a statement today, the leader of the African country (Yoweri Museveni) says he doesn't want to hear any lectures from Western governments opposed to the measure. He says the legislation wouldn't have been necessary had it not been for what he describes as "Western groups who come to our schools and try to recruit children into homosexuality." In the statement, the Ugandan leader says, "Africans do not seek to impose their views on anybody," and adds, "We do not want anybody to impose their views on us."

The bill carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment for some homosexual activity, and imposes a 14-year jail term for first-time homosexual offenders. It initially carried a death penalty, but that was removed.

The measure is widely popular in Uganda, where Christian clerics and politicians say it's necessary to keep Western homosexuals from "recruiting" Ugandan children.

President Barack Obama says it's a "step backward for all Ugandans."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.