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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
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Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
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Updated: Ugandan President Defends Antigay Bill
21 February 2014 12:15 pm
A defiant Yoweri Museveni has responded to U.S. President Barack Obama’s criticism of Uganda’s pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill by stating that he intends to sign it into law as soon as a scientific committee has completed its work. In a letter to Obama dated 18 February—but which has just become public—Museveni, Uganda’s president, defends the bill, which would introduce life sentences for so-called “aggravated homosexuality” with minors or in cases of rape, and terms of 7 to 14 years for attempted or actual homosexual activity.
The bill was passed by Uganda’s Parliament last December, but Museveni declined to sign it until a specially appointed committee of researchers and health officials pronounced on the causes of homosexuality. The committee presented its report to Museveni and members of his ruling National Resistance Movement party on 14 February, whereupon Museveni announced through a spokesperson that he would sign the legislation.
The “unanimous conclusion” of the committee, Museveni wrote Obama, “was that homosexuality, contrary to my earlier thinking, was behavioural and not genetic.” But some members of the committee have told ScienceInsider that this is not the conclusion they came to, and that their findings do not lend support for the draconian legislation.
Museveni told Obama that he is now waiting for clarification from the committee about whether “a combination of genes can cause anybody to be homosexual.” Once he has that, Museveni wrote, “my task will be finished and I will sign the Bill.”
*Update, 24 February, 11:30 a.m.: Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has signed the antihomosexuality bill.