A Ugandan minister has said that a proposed law which includes the death penalty for some homosexual acts is “not necessary”. Minister of state for investments Aston Kajara also said that the government may put pressure on the MP behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to withdraw it.

The bill was proposed last October, sparking international condemnation and some threats to cut aid to Uganda.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda, with punishments of 14 years in jail.

MP David Bahati’s proposed law would introduce the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” – involving a minor, if the perpetrator is HIV-positive and for “serial offenders”.

The penalties for other homosexual acts would be increased to life in prison.

The cabinet has not yet formally discussed the bill, so the Information Minister Kabakumba Matsiko on Friday stressed that government has not yet decided whether or not to back it.

Mr Kajara’s comments are believed to be the first public sign that some members of the government may not back the proposed measures.