Recently, Queerty reported on a disturbing trend in virulent anti-gay African nation Cameroon where newspapers were publishing names of suspected homosexuals. But in a slight reversal, a government court has sentenced the publisher of L’Anecdote to four months in prison for claiming a government minister was gay.
Owona’s lawyers said their client denied ever indulging in homosexual practices. The publication of his name in the list had seriously damaged his reputation and exposed his family to ridicule, they said.
L’Anecdote was one of three newspapers in Cameroon which published lists and photos of allegedly gay politicians, businessmen and musicians. Street vendors were forced to sell photocopies of the weekly papers, which sold out within hours.
But the ruling is a double-edged sword. On one hand it’s comforting to know the government is going after those papers that viciously out prominent figures who may or may not be gay. On the other hand, the idea that it’s ‘defamation’ to call some one gay just further illustrates that many African nations have a long way to go toward enlightenment.
Cameroon gay list publisher jailed for defamation [Reuters UK]