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Uganda passes tough new law against homosexuality

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) - A spokeswoman for Uganda's parliament says lawmakers have passed a long-shelved law that punishes "aggravated homosexuality" with life imprisonment.

Helen Kawesa said the anti-homosexuality bill was passed Friday.

The new law does not have the death penalty, which was in the draft legislation when it was first introduced in Uganda's parliament in 2010.

The original bill was condemned by world leaders who said it was draconian and United States President Barack Obama described it as "odious."

Homosexuality already had been illegal in Uganda, but the lawmaker who wrote the bill that passed Friday argued that a tough new law was needed because homosexuals from the West threatened to destroy Ugandan families and were allegedly "recruiting" Ugandan children into gay lifestyles.