Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is to sign into law a controversial bill that will see homosexuals jailed for life, despite international pressure, a government spokesman said yesterday.
Confirmation of the decision, made following local "scientific" analysis of the issue, came as US President Barack Obama warned Museveni that the legislation was a "step backward" that would complicate ties between Washington and Kampala.
The Ugandan anti-gay bill cruised through parliament in December after its architects agreed to drop an extremely controversial death penalty clause, although the bill still says that repeat homosexuals should be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and requires people to denounce gays.
Museveni, a key African ally of the United States and the European Union had been under pressure from diplomats and rights groups to block the legislation.
Last month a spokesman for Museveni said the president believed that gays were "sick" and "abnormal", but felt that sending them to prison was not the right solution.
However spokesman Ofwono Opondo said the president had decided to support the bill after seeking advice from a team of domestic scientists who were asked to "study homosexuality and genetics in human beings."