The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles
A major Hollywood charity event has been moved from a Los Angeles hotel because of its ties to the Sultan of Brunei, who instituted a new anti-gay penal code in his country.
The Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), which holds the annual star-studded The Night Before the Oscars event, met with the Dorchester Collection’s The Beverly Hills Hotel to inform the company of its decision.
The Dorchester Collection hotel chain is owned by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the absolute ruler of Brunei who last week announced the implementation of a new Islamic sharia penal code that will allow for the stoning to death of gays and lesbians.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the MPTF expressed its “deep concern about the recent enactment of laws in Brunei that call for violent punishment, including amputation and death by stoning, against those engaging in same-sex activity and extramarital sexual relations and those committing adultery.
“We expressed very clearly that we cannot condone or tolerate these harsh and repressive laws and as a result support a business owned by the Sultan of Brunei or a Brunei sovereign fund associated with the government of Brunei.”
Earlier, international business icon Richard Branson announced that he and his Virgin group of companies will boycott the Sultan’s hotel chain. America’s Human Rights Campaign has also called on others to boycott Dorchester Hotels.
Amnesty International said that Brunei’s sharia penal code, which came into effect on the 1st of May, was taking the country “back to the dark ages when it comes to human rights.”
The new code, which will run concurrently with the existing civil law system, allows for cruel and inhuman punishments including stoning to death, whipping and amputation.