Ugandan President Blocks Anti-Gay Bill

Calls for better ways to punish "abnormal" people

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has refused to sign off on a controversial anti-gay bill passed by his parliament, saying there are other ways of dealing with “abnormal” people.

His comments were made in a letter to the speaker of parliament and Ugandan legislators—dated Dec. 28, after the controversial bill was approved—that was published Friday by Ugandan paper Daily Monitor.

Museveni claimed a group of MPs forced the bill through parliament after he advised them to wait until the government had studied it, reports the Daily Monitor. The bill, which would punish “aggravated homosexuality” with life imprisonment, has been widely criticized by rights activists both within the country and internationally.

“The question at the core of the debate of homosexuality is; what do we do with an abnormal person? Do we kill him/her? Do we imprison him/her? Or do we contain him/her?” wrote Museveni.

The President argued that the best way to deal with the issue was to focus on improving Uganda’s economy and tackle youth unemployment, suggesting that legislation was perhaps not the best way forward: “Even with legislation, they will simply go underground and continue practicing homosexuality or lesbianism for mercenary reasons.”

[The Daily Monitor]