Cameroon must uphold anti-gay law to ‘protect’ the world, say lawyers

Cameroon Catholic lawyers group called upon the country's government to 'protect' the world from 'danger' by upholding anti-gay laws

Cameroon must uphold anti-gay law to ‘protect’ the world, say lawyers
25 February 2013

Sandrine Soppo, chair of the Association of Cameroon Roman Catholic Jurists (AJCC) said that gay rights are not a question of human rights but of an affront to human dignity.

Soppo made these comments during a conference on homosexuality, held last weekend in Douala, the country’s largest city.

She was also joined by other prominent clerics, including the Bishop of Douala who said that homosexuality is a crime against nature.

Soppo stated to conference goers: ‘We are taken aback by the current state of the world. Between homosexuality and pedophilia, etc… we deem it necessary to respond.

‘The Association of Catholic Jurists wants people to understand that the world is in danger and must absolutely reframe its values’, she said.

According to Samuel Kléda, the Archbishop of Douala, homosexuality is crime against nature, and is condemned by the Bible which considers it an abomination and merits the death penalty.

As an illustration Kléda cited a biblical passage from Leviticus 20-13: ‘If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them’.

The Bishop further told the conference that the family must be defended and protected from the ‘dangers’ of homosexuality.

He also stated that AJCC lawyers have an obligation to ensure that the law that forbids ‘this practice’ must remain enacted and enforced in Cameroon, and that everyone must be ‘educated’ regarding this matter and the law.

The conference was in part a response to statement by Cameroon’s president, Paul Biya, who told journalists after meeting with his French counterpart François Hollande ‘that discussions are under way. People are talking, minds can change one way or another but currently it’s a crime’.

Earlier this month, the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon slammed same-sex unions calling them ‘forgeries’ that ‘undervalue human nature’.

Homosexuality ‘falsifies human anthropology and trivializes sexuality, marriage and the family, the foundation of society’, read the Conference statement which urged ‘all believers and people of good will to reject homosexuality and so-called “gay marriage”’.

During his Christmas Day mass, Archbishop of Yaoundé Simon-Victor Tonyé Bakot, the country’s top Christian leader, stated that same-sex marriage is a ‘serious crime against humanity’, whipping up a wave of anti-gay hate across the country.

At least 12 people were convicted this year of being gay in Cameroon, where jail terms range from six months to five years.

Three months ago, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesperson, Rupert Colville, blasted Cameroon for its mistreatment of LGBT and urged it to repeal its anti-gay laws. 

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