BBC News
December 17, 2012

Uganda's president has said gay people should not be killed or persecuted, as MPs continue to consider a controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill. In his first public comments on the bill for some time, President Yoweri Museveni also said that homosexuality should not be promoted. The original version of the bill stipulated the death penalty for some homosexual acts but this has reportedly been dropped. Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda. The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga says the government has always stressed that the bill was introduced by an individual MP and was not official policy. In his latest comments at the swearing in of a new head of the Anglican Church of Uganda, the president was careful to neither condemn the bill nor openly support it, our correspondent says. The president said: "If there are some homosexuals, we shall not kill or persecute them but there should be no promotion of homosexuality. "We cannot accept promotion of homosexuality as if it is a good thing." Ministers have warned MPs that passing the bill would have implications for foreign relations. It has been condemned by Western donors, who have suggested that aid could be cut if it is passed. Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga recently said the bill would be passed as a "Christmas gift" to its advocates.