Michel Togue, a Cameroonian lawyer who has defended gays, has sought refuge with his family in the United States.

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 last month.

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.