Uganda's president opposes tough new anti-gay bill, calls homosexuals 'abnormal'

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 11, 2012 file photo, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni speaks during the London Summit on Family Planning organized by the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the United Nations Population Fund, in central London. Uganda's president said in a letter written late Dec. 2013 and published Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 in Kampala's Daily Monitor newspaper, that he opposes an anti-homosexuality bill recently passed by lawmakers and that "abnormal" people should not be jailed or killed, however a prominent Ugandan gay rights activist said there is "no celebration" over the president's opposition to the bill. (AP Photo/Carl Court, File, Pool)

KAMPALA, Uganda - Uganda's president says he opposes an anti-homosexuality bill recently passed by lawmakers and that "abnormal" people should not be jailed or killed.

In a recent letter to the speaker of parliament, President Yoweri Museveni said homosexuals need what he calls economic rehabilitation. He says parliament's bill needs to be revised.

Details of the letter, written late last month after Uganda's parliament passed an anti-gay law widely condemned by rights activists, were published Friday in Kampala's Daily Monitor newspaper. Sarah Kagingo, a spokeswoman for the presidency, confirmed that Museveni wrote the letter.

Frank Mugisha, a prominent Ugandan gay rights activist, said Museveni's characterization of gays "creates more hatred" in a country where discrimination against homosexuals is already rampant. He said there is "no celebration" over the president's opposition to the bill.


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