Texting while gay is a crime — in Cameroon

Post Partisan (The Washington Post)
December 19, 2012

As gay men and lesbians in the United States fret over whether the Supreme Court will affirm the humanity and dignity of same-sex couples by granting them the right to marry, Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé frets for his life. Yesterday, an appeals court in Cameroon upheld his conviction for violating that repressive nation’s anti-gay laws. His offense? He sent a picture of himself holding a sign that read “I’m very much in love w/u” via text message to another man. Mbédé had already served half of a three-year sentence when he was released from jail in July. Unless the Cameroon supreme court throws out the appeals-court ruling, the 32-year-old man will be tossed back in jail. “I am going back to the dismal conditions that got me critically ill before I was temporarily released for medical reasons,” he told the Associated Press by telephone. “I am not sure I can put up with the anti-gay attacks and harassment I underwent at the hands of fellow inmates and prison authorities on account of my perceived and unproven sexual orientation. The justice system in this country is just so unfair.”