After dating quietly for several years, two lesbians in Cameroon decided last month that it was time to get married. That’s when their troubles began.
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(To protect them from homophobic attacks, the women in this article are identified only by pseudonyms.)
By Jacks Oke
After marrying Dora, her 25-year-old girlfriend, a lesbian in Cameroon became the target of a manhunt by her new in-laws. They accused Nina, 28, of stealing — stealing away Dora’s affections and stealing her away from heterosexuality.
They also accused her of witchcraft, because the family believes that lesbians are devilish.
The uproar occurred in Douala shortly after Jan. 15, when Dora and Nina got married in a private ceremony.
They had not notified their parents about their plans, fearing that homophobic comments from family members would spoil the occasion. Dora and Nina did invite friends, so their celebration was full of joy, smiles, and good cheer.
In Cameroon, a same-sex marriage is not celebrated by clergy or a government official, because homosexuality is condemned. Instead an elder of the local LGBT community performs the ceremony. Dora and Nina’s marriage was performed by a mature, respected local lesbian.
After the festivities, the young women retired for their wedding night. Two days later, Dora returned to the family home where she had been living.
In the meantime, rumors and photos of the ceremony had reached the family. When Dora showed up at home, her parents beat her.
They then set out for Nina’s place. Dora managed to send a text message to Nina warning her that the family was coming to get her.
Nina promptly packed her suitcase and went to stay with a distant friend.
Arriving at Nina’s apartment with Dora in tow, the family forced open the door and ransacked the place.
According to neighbors, Dora’s family swore to skin Nina alive. They claimed that Nina had destroyed the life of their daughter who is “no longer normal.”
No complaint has been filed with police. Instead, the family plans to seek justice on their own.
Nina remains in hiding, anxious and separated by many kilometers from her new bride.
Jacks Oke, the author of this article, is an activist for LGBTI rights in Cameroon who writes under a pseudonym.
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- Cameroon’s abusive 2017, hopes for 2018 (January 2018, 76crimes.com)
- Cameroon: Two women arrested for walking together(December 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Anti-gay military action in Cameroon: 2 arrests (
- Did homophobia or jealousy trigger Cameroon attack? (
- Cameroon: Homophobic attacks disguised as burglary (October 2016, 76crimes.com)
- LGBTI activists challenge Cameroon police harassment (April 2016, 76crimes.com)
- One arrest, one scam, one threat in Cameroon (February 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Another attack on a Cameroon activist; a plea for help (July 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Cameroon: Life of a gay activist turns to drama (April 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Cameroon: Human rights plea provokes death threat (March 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Quick response to new anti-gay persecution in Cameroon (October 2014, 76crimes.com)
- This blog’s archive of articles about Cameroon.