Cameroon: Man convicted of homosexuality for drinking Baileys

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A man in Cameroon was convicted of homosexuality because he was drinking Baileys liqueur .

Homosexuality is against the law in the African country, with the penal code banning “sexual relations with a person of the same sex”.

However, according to attorney Michel Togue, police take a broad interpretation of the law – with a court even convicting a man for drinking Baileys Irish Cream, because it is considered feminine.

He told ThinkProgress that having an non-typical job like a male hairdresser is often used against people in court during ‘homosexuality’ trials, with prosecutors often relying on crude stereotypes about gay men.

He said: “To catch people having sex, to catch them in the act, you have to break the law. You have to violate their privacy, which is an offence.

“But the police will not focus on the offence of breaking the privacy of someone, but they will focus on the fact that they saw two people of the same gender having sex.”

Mr Togue added that people seeking treatment for HIV can also find themselves facing arrest.

He said: “They can’t go to the hospital for the treatment or even for a test because they’re afraid.”

A gay man in the country was jailed for sending a text message to another man in 2011, saying “I’m very much in love with you”.