LGBT Community Mobilizes in Face of Brunei's Anti-Gay Law

Published: May 11, 2014

With the expected implementation of an anti-LGBT law in Brunei that would punish homosexuality with death by stoning, LGBT-rights advocates are mobilizing against the financial interests of the Southeast Asian country.

In a letter dated May 2 sent to leadership officials of several organizations that plan to host events at American hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin urged such events to be relocated elsewhere.

"I have attended various events at both hotels over the past several years. But given the extreme nature of these developments, I feel strongly that we in the LGBT community and our allies should take our business elsewhere," Griffin wrote, encouraging such events be hosted at Los Angeles-area hotels other than the Brunei-owned Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air.

Griffin’s letter comes after Gill Action’s Political Outgiving 5.0 conference, scheduled to run May 1 through May 5, was relocated from the Beverly Hills Hotel. The Beverly Hills Hotel was bought by the Sultan of Brunei in 1987 and is managed by the Dorchester Collection, organized by the Brunei Investment Agency.

While homosexuality previously carried a penalty of 10 years in prison in Brunei, Bolkiah’s government is in the midst of phasing in one of three stages of Sharia law in Brunei. Stage three, which will include the death penalty for same-sex relations, is expected to be implemented in 2015.

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