Homosexuality as a crime in Cameroon
Matsinkou Tenefosso Sydoine Claire, Emmanuel Jua Juakom

It is universally recognized that homosexuality is criminalized in Cameroon. Meanwhile, most human rights lawyers who defend the cause of homosexuals in Cameroon as well as other international organizations go ahead to say that the punishment for homosexual orientation does not only violate international human rights but also violates the Cameroonian law on homosexuality itself. To them, Article 347 bis of the Cameroon Penal Code which punishes homosexuality is limited to same-sex intercourse and not extended to sexual orientation as a whole. Cameroonian authorities on their part have charged persons with homosexuality without any proof of such same-sex intercourse. In this article, we operate a close look at the content of the law on homosexuality in Cameroon, as well as the content of the word homosexuality itself in order to see the extent to which homosexuality is punished in Cameroon. We arrive at the conclusion that Article 347 bis though seemingly limited to punishing same-sex intercourse is a purposeful act by Cameroonian legislature to punish homosexual orientation and not just same sex intercourse. That the struggle of human rights defenders to ensure respect for the rights of homosexuals by promoting the respect for Article 347 bis will continue to yield little success due to disparities in its interpretations.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v3n2a12