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Published February 16, 2014, 02:28 PM

Obama: Anti-gay bill step backward for Ugandans

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) - President Barack Obama says pending steps by Uganda to further criminalize homosexuality will complicate what he is describing as America's valued relationship with the East African nation.

By: Associated Press, WDAY

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) - President Barack Obama says pending steps by Uganda to further criminalize homosexuality will complicate what he is describing as America's valued relationship with the East African nation.

In a written statement, Obama says legislation that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said he will sign will mark a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on the country's commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. Obama says it also will mark a serious setback for everyone who is committed to freedom, justice and equal rights.

The legislation prescribes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts in Uganda, where homosexuality already is illegal.

The measure has alarmed rights activists but enjoys wide support among Christian clerics and lawmakers who say it's needed to deter Western homosexuals from recruiting Ugandan children.

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