WASHINGTON, US - A key US lawmaker urged Ugandan authorities Wednesday to 'come to their senses' and reject a controversial proposed law that would punish homosexuality with life in prison.
'I am deeply saddened and troubled that such blatantly ignorant and hate-filled legislation would see the light of day anywhere in today's world. It needs to be stopped in its tracks immediately,' said Representative Ilean Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
'Ugandan leaders must come to their senses and reject this impending massive blow to human rights and decency in their country.'
Ros-Lehtinen, who has written to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton out of concern over the proposal, said she would seek an unspecified 'appropriate action' from Washington if it becomes law.
In her statement, the Florida lawmaker worried that 'such fear-mongering' in Uganda could hurt efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill would impose the death penalty for 'aggravated homosexuality,' including by those who are HIV positive.
In one of its most curious provisions, the draft law calls on Uganda to nullify any international treaty or convention that is inconsistent with the spirit of anti-homosexuality.