Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has refused to approve a controversial bill to toughen punishments for homosexuals.
He has written to the parliamentary speaker criticising her for passing it in December without a quorum. Homosexuals were "abnormal" or were so for "mercenary reasons" and could be "rescued", a local paper quotes his letter as saying.
The bill provides for life imprisonment for homosexual acts and also makes it a crime not to report gay people.
The promotion of homosexuality - even talking about it without condemning the lifestyle - would also be punishable by a prison term.
The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga in the capital, Kampala, says the president is aware that if he signs the bill there will be an international outcry, which could see some countries suspend aid to the country. His spokesman told the AFP news agency that Mr Museveni believes that gay people are sick but this does not mean they should be killed or jailed for life.
"What the president has being saying is that we shall not persecute these homosexuals and lesbians. That is the point," said Tamale Mirudi.