OUT OF AFRICA

Straight Gay-Rights Lawyer From Cameroon Facing Threats, Seeking U.S. Asylum

michel-togueMichel Togue isn’t gay—but the Cameroonian attorney has been persecuted and threatened in his homeland for defending the rights of the LGBT community. As a result, he’s seeking asylum for his family in the United States.

After Togue successfully overturned the conviction of two young men arrested essentially for having gay mannerisms, he started receiving death threats: “They say they are going to kidnap my children, that they’ll turn them into queers. I feel very vulnerable,” Togue told AFP.

His family has been staying in the U.S. since November, and Togue joined them earlier this year. But he’s adamant he only wants asylum for his wife and children—he wants to return home to fight the good fight: “It would be cowardly to give up—it’s my duty to defend human rights and to contribute to a more tolerant Cameroon.”

Togue has garnered support from the international gay-rights group All Out, the Robert Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and even former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who praised him the day before she left office: “[Michel Togue] has fought tirelessly to defend LGBT persons… and we greatly applaud his commitment and his courage.”

We couldn’t have said it better.