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Uganda health minister says care available to homosexuals, but gays charge discrimination

Uganda's health minister says gays will not be discriminated against by medical workers after the country's president signed a law that strengthens criminal penalties against homosexuals.

Health Minister Ruhakana Rugunda told The Associated Press Wednesday that a clause which would have required medical workers to report homosexuals to police was removed from the bill signed by Uganda's president on Monday.

But a prominent gay rights activist said the reality is far different in a country where homosexuals are often demonized.

Pepe Julian Onziema said that well-known homosexuals face constant discrimination and abuse. He recalled being ignored many times by medical workers who served others as they gossiped about his sexual orientation.

A tabloid newspaper on Tuesday printed a list of Uganda's "200 top" homosexuals, saying it wanted to expose them.