The West Hollywood City Council would have adjourned last night without even mentioning the controversial call for a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel except for a contentious appearance by a Congressional candidate opposed to the boycott.
The Council had on its “consent calendar” a resolution condemning a decision by the Sultan of Brunei to implement a version of Sharia law that calls for stoning to death gay people and flogging women who have abortions. The Sultan is the absolute ruler of Brunei, whose investment fund owns a collection of hotels including the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air.
The consent calendar was a list of 28 items (the Brunei condemnation was No. 2.U.). Items on that calendar typically are approved without discussion unless a council member believes a particular one warrants calling out. The Beverly Hills City Council passed a similar resolution on May 6 at a meeting filled with speakers.
While no one on the Council spoke about the boycott issue, Theo Milonopoulos attempted to. Milonopoulos, a candidate for the 33rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Henry Waxman, started a long speech to the Council during the period reserved for public comments, limited to two minutes per commenter.
When Mayor John D’Amico cut Milonopoulos off after he reached his two-minute limit, the obviously angry speaker stormed outside and then approached the City Clerk at the Council Chamber dais with a copy of his remarks. Two sheriff’s deputies approached Milonopoulos, who eventually took a seat near the front of the chamber.
When another public comment period came at the end of the Council meeting, Milonopoulos told the Council it should consider holding a fundraiser for LGBT causes at the Beverly Hills Hotel rather than boycotting it.
He also complained angrily that he had been accosted by the sheriff’s deputies. “When I tried to get clarification from your clerk and your deputy at least two officers stood at the ready to take me down,” he said. “I hope young LGBT people receive better treatment than I have received at the Council today.”
Milonopoulous, 27, is a “write-in” candidate for the Waxman seat, which means he didn’t qualify for listing on the formal ballot. A Facebook page for his campaign describes him as “openly gay, fiercely independent, ready to serve.”
Milonopoulos is a graduate of Stanford University and a PhD student at Columbia University and also was a Fulbright Scholar at King’s College in London. He worked for two years for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, doing research for her memoir, and held research positions at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.