Cameroon to Toughen Anti-Gay Laws


The AFP reports that Cameroon’s government is preparing to toughen the country’s already stringent laws against homosexuality by blurring them with pedophilia laws, granting judges new avenues for prosecution.

From the AFP:

“The government is preparing a reform to the criminal code. In its draft law, it has both maintained and worsened punishment for homosexuality,” Alice Nkom, lawyer and president of the Cameroonian Association for the Defence of Homosexuality, said.

“It has widened its jurisdiction and created confusion between homosexuality and paedophilia, which will allow judges to condemn more people more easily,” she said.

In the draft law, homosexual acts in general remain punishable by between six months to five years imprisonment, activist Stephane Koche said.

The government reportedly wishes to introduce a couple of new by-laws to specifically punish same-sex pedophilia, making homosexual acts with persons under the age of 16 punishable by 10-15 years in prison. The more troubling is the second by-law that would call for a prison term of eight years for engaging in homosexual sex with persons between the ages of 16-21.

The second stipulation has especially worried LGBT rights activists. They say it aims at further criminalization of homosexuals in the country and sets a precedent that homosexuality between consenting adults – the legal age of consent being 16 for heterosexual couples — should be treated differently, advancing anti-sodomy laws and enshrining a comparison with pedophilia.

Recent months have seen officials in Cameroon ramp up efforts to stamp out homosexuality and gender non-conformity in the country.

A 19-year-old known as Jonas and a 20-year-old known as Francky were arrested on 25 July in a car outside a night club in Yaunda in the Cameroonian capital and charged under Section 347a of the Cameroonian Penal Code which criminalizes same-sex sexual acts. New reports suggest a lawyer for the two men will argue they were not having oral sex in the car as had been claimed by police, but instead were arrested for being dressed in “feminine” attire. Their lawyer says that while they initially pleaded guilty, they did so under duress and will state their innocence at their forthcoming trial.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, among several other human rights groups, have called for the men to be released.

Related Reading:

Ghanaian Church Aims to Pray Away the Gay

International LGBT Rights Group Awarded UN Accreditation

U.N. Approves Resolution Against Anti-Gay Discrimination

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Tarter Time Photography.


Lady R.
Lady R.7 years ago

The largest problem here is that when you finally get one persecuted group free (In this case, the black people.) you leave those that hate needing something new to hate. So now, the new persecuted group is the GLBT group.

Once you get this persecuted group free, the haters will need to find another group to be persecuted and on and on and on and on. IT WILL NEVER STOP! Sooner or later, they will turn on themselfs!

Glen P.
Glen P7 years ago

Seems black people (in general - even in America), particularly hate gay people and work toward restricting their rights in some of the most extreme ways. Even polling shows that while American's attitudes toward gay rights has improved dramatically across most demographic groups, black people's attitudes have barely budged, and are still the highest anti-gay among any group.

Makes you wonder if karma can also work backwards in time, and their hateful attitudes and legislative crimes against gay people today, led to the abuses they suffered in the past. Would be nice to think so, if one were to believe in such things (which technically I don't).

And I say that as someone who's generally very anti-racism but let me tell you I absolutely HATE with a purple passion the extreme anti-gay attitudes among the black populace of this nation and the world. THEY are incredibly reprehensible (particularly given black-people's history), and any decent minded black person should be incredibly ashamed of their brethren.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin7 years ago

Sorry, for the misspellings. It seems my keyboard went on vacation without telling me!

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin7 years ago

Cyril E. "'Go ye and multiply'" Well, aren't you the lucky one! We're almost seven billion people on our little rock in the big universe. I call that multiplying into extinction. There's not room for everyone, hunger catastrophes in higly populated areas will worsen, the deserts expnads every year, water supplies are drained, but h**l, we've multiplied, haven't we?
BTW, being gay doesn't mean without child. There are and has always been and will always be children with gay parents. But I guess those kids, in your book, are evil, since their parents aren't "anatomically correct"?
My suggestion to you, besides reading some facts about humaity, is to follow an old Swedish saying: Go put something old over yourself! Meaning: Go stand in the corner and be ashamed of your medieval viwes of humanity!

Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K7 years ago

Cyril, If I did believe in a God, it would not be a whiny, ineffectual god that let people like you pretend to speak for him.

Cyril E.
Cyril E.7 years ago

Comments above seem to indicate they regard the law as backward and harsh. I think it is quite appropriate. God created the human being, male and female, and said ' Go ye and multiply'. Even if you do not believe in God, whatever it was that made man and woman, clearly made them for one another, or our anatomies would not have been so different and so appropriately structured. If we were meant for same sex unions, then we would have been made like hermaphrodites and so structured. Homosexuality and Lesbianism are wrong no matter how liberal you are, and has nothing to do with the race or creed. The permissiveness of the American society is ruining it. Freedom should not mean 'ANYTHING GOES'

Rob and Jay B.
Jay S7 years ago

These primitive societies rage & threaten when their religion - a CHOSEN set of BELIEFS - are even questioned or criticized, but have no problem with imprisoning & even killing people who are different.

People don't just wake up some day & say "Oh, today I'm going to be a homosexual!" Or a heterosexual. We challenge all of these heteros who are so judgemental & discriminatory towards LGBT people to change their sexual orientation right now. Just do it. Can you? No, unless you've been hiding your true natural nature all along.

What century is this? The OIC - Organization of Islamic Conference - composed of all Muslim majority countries & several countries as observers - has made a flowery statement about Islam's support of Human Rights, yet every one of these countries voted against a UN resolution put forward by France & the EU to ban discrimination, persecution & state-sponsored imprisonment & murder of LGBT people.

These same countries have been working for years, with Clinton's help, to get a UN resolution passed to silence all criticism of Islam (not Buddhism, Hinduism, Xtianity - just Islam). It's just another manmade ideology but it demands the killing of gay people. So much for concern for Human Rights. What a sick world we live in!

Alicia N.
Alicia N7 years ago

This is Wrong!

Suzy D.
Suzy D7 years ago

It`s a sad thing when bigots get to make laws and run countries. Bigoted Christians however, should remember that "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it will be for them to get into the kingdom of heaven".I believe that`s what their book says.

Louise D.
Louise D7 years ago

The anti-gay legislation in Africa is the result of American evangelical Christian groups are increasingly spreading bigotry against gay people in Africa. The right-wing are losing the battle in the US, so they are exploiting the poverty-stricken developing world. The attraction of right-wing organisations with dollars to spend, combined with fears over a creeping "westernisation" of societies, is increasing the demonisation of gay people in Africa. Much of the recent anti-gay activity in Africa has been in response to the increased politicisation of gay Africans who by default are going to be liberal. The use of these laws is also a useful way of getting rid of political opponents when being smeared as being gay can get people thown into prison. They are still using such tactics so the local dictators can claim the moral high ground and play to the so called Christian groups.