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.

 

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6 Comments

  • Raquel Santiago

    You can defend their rights from the US or a nearby country where he is safe, he is helping no one if he is dead. As Technology advance he can defend them in court via live video conferencing. While i agree with his cultural heritage that it may appear “cowardly”. His family also need them and he needs to find a work around to this. That said, unless he moves and lives in San Francisco or an LGBT friendly state he will experience these same things here in some cities. We tend to live in bubbles in our LGBT friendly cities but when we travel outside these cities to places not LGBT friendly it can be a scary world.

  • Kieran

    Sounds like an easy way for people to get US citizenship. “I live in a homophobic country and I’m gay! I need asylum.”. Only problem is most places in this
    world have violent homophobes who would like to kill gay people, including right here in the USA.

  • Judy

    @Kieran: When you are able to overturn the convictions
    of gay men in an extremely homophobic country, whilst protecting the vested interest
    of the State Department (by promoting gay rights), that’s called talent.
    Michel Togue is a very talented lawyer apparently, and deserves the asylum he seeks
    for his family.

  • Aidan8

    Good man. Inspiring. Hopefully he’ll continue his work and be safe.

  • Stache1

    Ah the good loving peaceful Christians. If it’s not not burning witches then it’s something else all the time with them.

  • Charli Girl

    Do it from abroad!

Comments are closed.