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Uganda's president does not sign anti-homosexual bill

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By The Los Angeles Times
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 6:39 p.m.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni refused to sign into law a tough anti-homosexual bill passed by parliament last month. But the tone of his remarks offered little cheer for the country's beleaguered gay rights groups.

In a letter accompanying his decision, Museveni described gay men and lesbians as abnormal, mercenary and a product of “random breeding” in the West when “nature goes wrong.” He suggested that young homosexuals were lured by money and needed rescuing.

The measure would have provided life sentences for some homosexual acts, although the original bill proposed the death penalty.

Museveni's comments, reported in Uganda's Daily Monitor, came days after as another African leader, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, signed into law a law banning all gatherings of homosexual people and outlawing same-sex marriage. Homosexuality was already illegal in Nigeria, as it is in 38 African countries, according to Amnesty International.

News reports out of Nigeria said a 28-year-old man who confessed to a single homosexual act seven years ago was recently lashed 20 times in Bauchi state, where Islamic or sharia law is in place.

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