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Obama: Anti-Gay Bill In Uganda A Step Backward

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File photo of President Barack Obama. (credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of President Barack Obama. (credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — President Barack Obama says pending steps by Uganda to further criminalize homosexuality will complicate what he is describing as America’s valued relationship with the East African nation.

Obama says legislation that Uganda’s president has said he will sign will mark a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on the country’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people.

Obama says in a written statement Sunday that it also will be a serious setback for everyone who’s committed to freedom, justice and equal rights.

The legislation prescribes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts in Uganda, where homosexuality already is illegal.

The measure has alarmed rights activists but enjoys wide support among Christian clerics and lawmakers who say it’s needed to deter Western homosexuals from recruiting Ugandan children.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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