The originator of the anti-gay Ugandan bill has denied that the death penalty will be dropped from the proposed legislation.

In an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper, the Member of Parliament who presented the reviled bill to the legislature, David Bahati, refuted reports by Bloomberg that he had removed the death penalty and life imprisonment clauses from the bill.

“We are not going to yield to any international pressure – we cannot allow people to play with the future of our children and put aid into the game. We are not in the trade of values. We need mutual respect,” he said.

Bahati, and the Ugandan government are facing growing international pressure to scupper the bill, but the proposed legislation looks set to become law in February next year.

“Learned behaviour can be unlearned. You can’t tell me that people are born gays,” Bahati said, reiterating the popular view in Uganda that there is a foreign drive to “impose” homosexuality on the country. “It is foreign influence that is at work,” he added.

While Bahati insists that the death penalty clause’s intention is to stop child abuse, the law also imposes the death penalty on anyone who has gay sex with an HIV positive person; even between consenting adults.

The anti-homosexuality bill 2009 will also maintain the current life sentence for gay sex as well as making it illegal to lobby for LGBT equality, provide any support for LGBT people or even write about LGBT rights. People will face jail time if they do not turn in gays and lesbians to the authorities.

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