Obama: Uganda Anti-Gay Bill Is a Step Backward 

The president said on Sunday that if Uganda further criminalizes homosexuality, it would “complicate our valued relationship.” 

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

On Sunday, President Barack Obama warned Uganda that plans to further criminalize homosexuality would "complicate our valued relationship," the Associated Press reports.

Obama said that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's pledge to sign an anti-gay bill marks a "step backward" for all Ugandans. Obama added that the bill also reflects poorly on the country's commitment to protect the human rights of its people, AP reports.

AP notes that Obama considers the bill a serious setback for anyone committed to freedom, justice and equal rights.

"That is why I am so deeply disappointed that Uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality," Obama said in a written statement viewed by AP. "The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda. It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda's commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. It also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights.

"Enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda," he said, and AP notes that the U.S. has conveyed that message to Museveni.

Homosexuality is already is illegal in Uganda under a colonial-era law that criminalizes sex acts "against the order of nature."

Read more at Associated Press.