Hollywood is coming out strong for LGBT rights and against the new Brunei law that punishes homosexuality with death by stoning. Jay Leno, Richard Branson, Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne are just a few of the celebrities that have spoken out against the law.
Recently organizations have taken a stand by protesting the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, which are both part of the Dorchester Collection. The Collection is owned by the Brunei Agency, which connects it to the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah.
“The decision to implement the [Shari’a penal code] is not fun but is to obey Allah’s command as written in the Quran,” said Bolkiah, according to the Associated Press.
Because of the protests, the Beverly Hills City Council voted last night to pass a resolution condemning the government of Brunei for its new resolution. The members hope it will end the boycott of the hotel.
“The City of Beverly Hills strongly condemns the government of Brunei as well as other governments which engage in similar policies for adopting laws that impose extreme and inhumane penalties including execution and severing of limbs,” the resolution says, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The City of Beverly Hills urges the government of Brunei to divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel and any other properties it may own in Beverly Hills.”
Former “Tonight Show” host and his wife, Mavis, a board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation, joined protestors in the demonstration at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Monday
“What year is this, 1814?” Leno said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Come on, people. It’s 2014. You know evil flourishes when good people do nothing.”
Because of the boycott, many events such as the OutGiving Conference, a meeting of LGBT donors, and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network’s Respect Awards plan to move to another location.
On Monday, the Motion Picture & Television Fund announced it would be moving its annual pre-Oscar party, The Night Before the Oscars, to another venue.
Yesterday, the International Women’s Media Foundation announced that it had pulled its Courage in Journalism Awards ceremony from the venue.
Virgin America president Richard Branson has also decided to boycott, tweeting: No @Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights.
Dorchester Collection CEO Christopher Cowdray said that the protesters should not boycott the hotel because it hurts the employees who rely on tips.
“While we recognize people’s concerns, we believe this boycott should not be directed to our hotels and dedicated employees,” Cowdray said in a statement. “The economic impact of this not only affects our loyal team members but extends to the local community, our valued partners and suppliers.”