Activists blast ‘Gay Hate Day’ in Cameroon

Gay rights campaigners call on Cameroon's President Paul Biya to end persecution of country's LGBT community and to decriminalize homosexuality

Activists blast ‘Gay Hate Day’ in Cameroon
21 August 2012

African human rights leaders are uniting to denounce a ‘Gay Hate Day’ in Cameroon.

The Cameroonian Youth Rally have organized of a national anti-gay ‘celebration’ on 21 August, claiming homosexuality is a ‘crime against humanity’ and that they are acting to protect African values.

However, a declaration signed by some of the continent’s most high profile LGBT campaigners slams the event, saying it will put the lives of thousands of Cameroonians in ‘serious danger’.

The activists are also calling on the country’s President Paul Biya to take a stand against anti-gay persecution and decriminalize homosexuality.

‘These anti-gay proponents say they are protecting our “traditional values.” But we want to tell them that hate and homophobia are not African values,’ says Alice N’Kom, a Cameroonian attorney renowned for her support for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Cameroon.

‘We are bringing together people from across the continent to tell our country that pro-equality voices in Africa are strong.’

Just a few days ago, the influential Archbishop of Yaoundé has contributed to this homophobic backlash, calling homosexuality ‘shameful’ and ‘an affront to the family, enemy of women and creation.’

Yves Yomb, director of Alternatives-Cameroun, an organization working for the rights of sexual minorities, blasts the anti-gay movement in the country for ‘misinforming’ people.

‘A poster announcing the “Gay Hate Day” claims that hemorrhoids, incontinence and various infections are consequences of homosexuality,’ he said.

‘Decriminalizing homosexuality is a fundamental step in responding to the misinformation, hate, and violence.’

In August 2011, Roger Jean Claude Mbédé was arrested for the crime of ‘homosexual behavior.’

He was sentenced to three years in prison and fined after sending a text message to another man.

‘A homophobic crackdown by the police and government would be unacceptable anywhere, but this anti-gay rally being held as Roger is fighting for his freedom shows how extreme the situation is becoming Cameroon,’ says AllOut.org’s executive director Andre Banks.

The global gay rights group has been working with N’Kom and other Cameroonian activists for the past year to address the rampant levels of homophobia in the country.

‘This is the right moment for us to call on President Biya to stand up for equality, discharge Roger and revoke anti-gay laws in Cameroon,’ said N’Kom.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Russian gay kiss activists pelted with eggs at Duma protest

Radicals push gays and pelt them with eggs as they kiss in protest at plans for a new law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ in Russia
No thumbnail available

PM Enda Kenny backs Ireland’s bid for Gay Games

Irish leader has written to the Gay Games organizers saying potential host city Limerick is a testament to the country's greenery and song
No thumbnail available

CBS cancels Partners, sitcom about best friends - one gay, one straight

Comedy starring out actor Michael Urie struggled in the ratings
Andrewes House, Barbican, London

Andrewes House, Barbican, London

A bright, highly sought-after one bedroom apartment on London’s ‘most spectacular’ estate
No thumbnail available

Canada: Alberta gov't makes gay-straight alliances mandatory after year of fighting them

Education minister changes mind after speaking to LGBTI students
No thumbnail available

FIFA will probe anti-gay chants at World Cup

Mexico, Brazil, Russia and Croatia could have their World Cup career in jeapordy over fans' behavior at matches
No thumbnail available

Theater group explores unheard gay stories in new show

London company is producing a show of 'glamour, grit and gay abandon to portray contemporary scenes of LGB life'
No thumbnail available

Washington to launch anti-trans bigotry campaign

US capital's Office of Human Rights claims adverts are country's first aimed solely at transgender people
No thumbnail available

Jonathan Groff relieved to look ahead to second season of HBO's gay dramedy Looking

'We had been feeling anxious, nervous, excited, hopeful for a season two since the day we wrapped season one'
No thumbnail available

US senator gives credit to Human Rights Campaign for her pro-ENDA vote

Human Rights Campaign lobbied for Republican US senators to get behind ENDA