Ugandan President Signs Bill Expanding Punishments for Homosexual Behavior

The president of Uganda has signed into law a bill that expands the legal punishment for homosexuality in the East African nation.

Known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, President Yoweri Museveni signed it into law Monday, remarking that "there is something really wrong with" homosexuality.

"No study has shown you can be homosexual by nature … That man can choose to love a man ... is a matter of choice. After listening to the scientists, I got the facts," said Museveni, as reported by the AFP.

"I have failed to understand that you can fail to be attracted to all these beautiful women and be attracted to a man."

While Uganda already had legal punishments for homosexual behavior from decades earlier, the new law expands the punishment for being found guilty of same-sex activity.

"It includes life sentences for gay sex and same-sex marriage, but a proposed sentence of up to 14 years for first-time offenders has been removed," reported the BBC.

"The new law allows life imprisonment as the penalty for acts of 'aggravated homosexuality' and also criminalizes the 'promotion' of homosexuality,' where activists encourage others to come out."

Uganda has received much criticism for its efforts to increase legal punishments for homosexual behavior, with human rights organizations within the nation announcing plans to challenge the new law in court.

United States President Barack Obama denounced the proposed legislation, criticizing Ugandan President Museveni last week for supporting the bill.

"The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda," stated President Obama.

"It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda's commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. It also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights."

Uganda is not the only African nation presently expanding their legal measures against homosexuality.

Last month, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill into law that mandated a 14-year prison sentence for homosexual behavior and also banned membership in gay rights groups.

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