NAIROBI - Homosexuality in Kenya is as bad a problem as terrorism, the ruling party's parliamentary leader said on Wednesday, but argued against stepping up legal sanctions on the grounds that existing laws were tough enough.

Aden Duale, the majority leader from President Uhuru Kenyatta's ruling Jubilee coalition, was responding to a group of MPs demanding tougher laws.

"Can't we just be brave enough, seeing that we are a sovereign state, and outlaw gayism and lesbianism, the way Uganda has done?" legislator Alois Lentoimaga said.

Uganda has voted for life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, prompting some international donors to suspend aid.

Duale, who speaks on behalf of the Kenyan government in the assembly, said: "We need to go on and address this issue the way we want to address terrorism ...

"It's as serious as terrorism. It's as serious as any other social evil," Duale said, referring to a spate of attacks by al-Qaida-linked Somali Islamist militants carried out in retaliation for Kenya's intervention in neighboring Somalia.


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