Michel Togue, a Cameroonian lawyer who
has defended gays, has sought refuge with his family in the United
Togue's work defending people accused
of breaking laws against homosexuality has drawn praise from former
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who hailed him as “a human
rights lawyer from Cameroon who has fought tirelessly to defend LGBT
persons with support from this fund, and we greatly applaud his
commitment and his courage” during a State Department reception
Togue's rising international profile,
however, has also drawn threats.
“They say they are going to kidnap my
children, that they'll turn them into queers,” Togue told the AFP.
“I feel very vulnerable.”
Togue arrived in the United State in
January to join his family, which fled in November.
His wife and children are requesting
asylum, but Togue insists he'll return to Cameroon.
“[I]t would be cowardly to give up,
it's my duty to defend human rights and to contribute to a more
tolerant Cameroon,” he said.
Anti-gay sentiment runs high in
Cameroon, where gay sex is punishable by up to five years in jail.