The Human Rights Campaign has joined the call for a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, whose owner, the Sultan of Brunei, plans to implement draconian laws that call for stoning to death gay men and women.
In a letter released today, HRC President Chad Griffin said: “There are a number of hotels and venues in the Los Angeles area that aren’t owned by foreign governments and leaders that allow for the execution of its LGBT citizens. We’re encouraging members of the LGBT community and our allies to consider those options instead of the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, which are part of the Sultan’s Dorchester Collection. In addition, we’re calling on organizations that have upcoming events scheduled at these hotels to move them to other locations.”
Those organizations include the Aviva Family and Children’s Services, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, Cedars-Sinai Medical Hospital’s Helping Hand of Los Angeles, Colleagues Helpers in Philanthropic Services, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs, the Partners in Care Foundation and Teen Line in an event with Sony Pictures.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest LGBT rights advocacy group in the United States and earlier had condemned the Sultan’s plan to implement Sharia laws in his largely Muslim country. The Sultan, yesterday, put in place laws that call for fines and jail sentences for failure to attend Friday prayers, indecent behavior and pregnancy outside of marriage. Later this year Brunei will begin flogging and severing the arms and legs of people who commit property crimes. Late next year the Sultan intends to implement a requirement that those who commit adultery or engage in gay sex be stoned to death.
Other groups already have cancelled events planned at the Beverly Hills Hotel and fashion designers have called for a boycott of all hotels in the Dorchester Collection, which is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency. The Sultan, one of the world’s richest men with an estimated worth of $20 billion, is the country’s absolute ruler.
Lili Bosse, the mayor of Beverly Hills, announced today that she will ask the Beverly Hills City Council on Monday to pass a resolution asking the Sultan to divest himself of his Beverly Hills hotels and condemning the laws he is implementing.
The Beverly Hills Hotel has responded to the boycott threats by noting that it isn’t governed by the laws of Brunei and operates according to local laws and standards. Bosse noted that in a press release today. She said her resolution is “no reflection on the hotel’s management and staff. The City’s actions are intended to contribute to local and international outrage and help reverse polices and laws in Brunei that do not uphold international human rights.”
“I have attended various events at both hotels over the past several years,” Griffin said in his statement. “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.”