UGANDA: President Signs Anti-Gay Bill

Just yesterday the Guardian reported that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was putting off signing the anti-gay bill while he challenges US scientists to disprove that homosexuality is a choice. But today Museveni has signed the bill.

According to the Associated Press news agency, government officials clapped after Mr Museveni signed the bill at a press conference at State House. The BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga in Uganda says it is rare for the president to assent to bills so publicly. But the anti-gay bill has become so controversial that the media were invited to witness its signing, she says. Ugandan gay rights activist.

Earlier government spokesman spokesman Ofwono Opondo told Reuters news agency Mr Museveni wanted “to demonstrate Uganda’s independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation”. The sponsor of the bill, MP David Bahati, insisted homosexuality was a “behaviour that can be learned and can be unlearned”. Homosexuality is just bad behaviour, that should not be allowed in our society,” he told the BBC’s Newsday programme.

But a gay rights activist in Uganda told the programme that he was “very scared” about the new bill. “I didn’t even go to work today [Monday]. I’m locked up in the house. “And I don’t know what’s going to happen now. I’m talking to all my activists on the phone. And it’s the same, they are all locked up in their houses. They can’t move out. They are watching their back to see what happens.”