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NAIROBI (RNS/ENI) An Anglican bishop in Uganda has rejected proposals that gays and lesbians should face the death penalty for sexual assault in some cases, but says prison terms should remain as a deterrent to homosexuality.
“We want to state categorically that homosexuality is unacceptable,”
Anglican Bishop Stanley Ntagali of Masindi-Kitara diocese said in an interview.
The Ugandan parliament is debating a proposed law which allows the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” involving assault against people under the age of 18 or those with disabilities.
“I think the death penalty is not acceptable,” Ntagali said on Wednesday (Oct.21). “I think taking someone to jail for a period of time would be sufficient.”
Homosexual acts are already a criminal offence in Uganda, with life imprisonment the maximum sentence.
The new measure proposes a seven-year jail term for anyone who “attempts to commit the offence” or who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality”.
The law would also punish the publishing of information, the provision of funds or premises for homosexual activities, with a seven-year jail sentence or a fine of $50,000 according to reports.
Ntagali said the church views gays and lesbians as sinners who can repent and reform. “We have to be a moral fiber of the society,” he stated.
The law says it aims to “protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex.”
By Fredrick Nzwili
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