New gay apartheid sees LGBTs openly banned in Cameroon

As homophobic attacks continue to rise in the African country, several public venues have posted signs banning gay people

A new gay apartheid in Cameroon has seen LGBT people being openly banned from several public venues.

In the capital Yaoundé, a video taken by gay rights activists shows a bar with the sign ‘Espace Interdit Aux Homosexuels’ (‘Gay people banned from this space’).

Bénois Nkoumou, the manager of the venue, told IPS Television he did ‘not want to see any more homosexuals in his bar’.

He said: ‘I felt I had to put these signs to limit certain behaviors and I noticed that it works.

‘This bar is now forbidden to these people.’

Gay rights activists have said Nkoumou’s bar is not the only place to explicit forbid LGBT people from congregating there.

But under the Cameroon law, which states homosexuality is illegal and punishable with up to five years, there is little they can do.

Issa Tchiroma, Cameroon Minister of Communication, said: ‘There is neither a state plot, nor a social plot in Cameroon against homosexuals. It should be said loud and clear.’

Serge Douomong, a human rights activist, said while he wants a ban to this forbidding gay people from public spaces, the Cameroon government wishes to segregate LGBT people from the rest of society.

The resurgence of a ‘gay apartheid’ comes as a Cameroon official attempted last month to blame a gay activist for his own murder.

Eric Lembembe’s body was discovered in his own home in July, with his neck and feet broken and hands and face burned with an iron.

The attack happened weeks after the renowned gay activist issued a public warning about the threat posed by homophobia.

Anatole Marie Nkou, Cameroon’s ambassador to the United Nations Office at Geneva, claimed the descriptions of the murder as a hate crime and a homophobic murder were ‘just things that have been made up’.

He added: ‘Look at the details of this person’s life and you will understand why he died.’

As the country prosecutes more people for being LGBT than anywhere, it is often described as the worst place in the world to be gay.

by Joe Morgan
Source – Gay Star News