YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon, January 3, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Catholic archbishop in Cameroon preached, “Marriage of persons of the same sex is a serious crime against humanity” in his homily at Christmas Day Mass.

The Archbishop of Yaoundé, Simon-Victor Tonyé Bakot, encouraged his countrymen to defend African values of what constitutes an authentic marriage and family against recent efforts by international gay activists to overturn the country’s anti-sodomy laws—something many on the continent have called a form of cultural imperialism.

“We need to stand up to combat it with all our energy. I am particularly thankful to our local media that has been spreading this message of it as a criminality against mankind,” he said.

This is not the first time Archbishop Bakot has outspokenly defended real marriage and used his position and authority to highlight the dangers of legalizing homosexual activity in his country.

Before the first annual “World Day against Homosexuality” on August 21, the archbishop called homosexual activity “shameful, a disrespectful criticism of God who has chosen to create [humans as] man and woman.”

The August national rally was organized by a group of young people who call themselves Rassemblement de la Jeunesse Camerounaise (Rally of the Cameroonian Youth, or RJC). The RJC stated at the time that a national day to protest the legalization of homosexual activity was required to protect the “law of the Republic of Cameroon,” to secure the right of people to live according to the teachings of the “Holy Bible,” to “preserve the human species,” and to awaken people to the various sexual “deviations” that cause “serious harm to humanity, our traditions, our African culture in general, and Cameroon in particular.”

The archbishop said at this time that since homosexual behavior is opposed to human reproduction, it therefore threatens the family unit and becomes an “enemy of women and creation.”

Homosexual activity is illegal in the central African country of Cameroon and carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Cameroon’s values have been targeted by the European Union, which sent 300,000 euros in 2011 to three Cameroonian pro-homosexual organizations to aid them in their efforts to overthrow the country’s anti-sodomy laws.

The United Nation’s Human Rights Committee has for years pressured Cameroon to legalize homosexual activity, even though human rights agreements do not recognize the practice as a “right.”

Ironically, Cameroon was one of the nations that judged the United States in its first-ever report to the UN Human Rights Commission

Though they may be out of favor at the UN, the archbishop’s statements are in solidarity with recent statements made at the Vatican by Pope Benedict XVI.

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In his December 14 message for World Day of Peace, the Pope said that true peace in the world requires marriage between one man and one woman and an end to gay “marriage.”

“There is also a need to acknowledge and promote the natural structure of marriage as the union of a man and a woman in the face of attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different types of union; such attempts actually harm and help to destabilize marriage, obscuring its specific nature and its indispensable role in society,” he said.