The Sultan of Brunei (and Owner of the Beverly Hills Hotel) Is Getting Back to Killing Gays

The Beverly Hills Hotel

It may be too late for Shane’s Inspiration, which has already scheduled for March 29 its annual event to support social inclusion for children with disabilities.  And the Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization’s celebration of International Women’s Month is set for March 31.

But then again, it won’t be until next Wednesday, April 3, when the man who controls the trust that owns the Beverly Hills Hotel, where those events are scheduled, will put into effect some of the grimmest elements of Sharia law. 

That man is Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the absolute ruler of the nation of Brunei, which next week will become the first southeast Asian country to impose the death penalty on those engaging in same-sex intercourse. Gay men and women can be executed by stoning or being whipped to death.  

Bolkiah’s decision to implement that aspect of Sharia law was reported today by the U.K.’s Independent, which notes that homosexuality already is illegal in Brunei and those who are gay can be jailed. His implementation in 2014 of other aspects of Sharia law and his threat to include homosexual behavior prompted a major boycott by celebrities and non-profit organizations who often staged fund-raising galas there.

“Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, who rules Brunei by absolute monarchy, first introduced measures under the Sharia Penal Code in 2014, imposing fines or jail terms for offences such as pregnancy out of wedlock or failing to pray on Fridays,” the Independent notes.

“However, laws targeting LGBT+ people were shelved following international protests, including a boycott of the sultan’s exclusive Beverly Hills Hotel in California.”

The Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air are part of a group of high end hotels in the Dorchester Collection, which is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency.

A protest in 2014 against the Beverly Hills Hotel’s owner’s Sharia law in Brunei.

The Sultan’s earlier proposal to include sex-outside-of-marriage and homosexual behavior in the Sharia law he was implementing prompted celebrities such as Jay Leno and his wife, Mavis, of the Feminist Majority Foundation, to participate in a large protest outside the hotel in May 2015. James Duke Mason, a West Hollywood resident, worked to get WeHo residents to participate. Celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne announced that they would not patronize the Beverly Hills Hotel. Richard Branson announced that his Virgin Airlines employees would not patronize Dorchester Group properties.  The Beverly Hills City Council passed a resolution asking the Sultan to sell the Beverly Hills hotel.

The Beverly Hills Hotel issued a statement saying that its policies and practices are not in any way governed by the laws of Brunei and stressing its commitment to diversity and equality. Its manager argued that the boycott could cause hotel workers to lose their jobs.

The boycott didn’t last long, with gossip websites and magazines soon chronicling the celebrities who again were hanging out at the hotel and its Polo Lounge. 


newest oldest
Notify of
Peter Vinnicombe
Guest
Peter Vinnicombe

Why does this matter? We don’t live in his country. Stop medaling and try to focus on what is happening in our own country.

My advice to any Mo living in Brunei: if you are afraid of stoning, don’t act so gay. Butch up.

cmarybrien
Guest
cmarybrien

Piers Morgan Suggests Not Boycotting but making it a Gay Mecca “Then imagine if social media blew up on a daily basis with endless photos and videos from this non-stop global gay orgy of fun and frivolity – all with ecstatic messages personally thanking the Sultan of Bigotry for his hospitality? He would go absolutely nuts, wouldn’t he? I mean, losing a few million dollars from a boycott means nothing to a man reportedly worth $50 billion, who earns $100 a SECOND from oil revenues and investments, spends $21,000 on haircuts, has 600 Rolls Royces, and whose 1788-room palace is… Read more »

Kitkat
Guest
Kitkat

What about also boycotting Hotel Bel-Air? That is also a part of the Dorchester Collection. Cannot just pick and choose which properties to protest in Beverly Hills – include them both. Now, with that being said, how is protesting what happens in a different country doing the stateside employees any good? It’s not. They have no say in how the Sultan runs his own country – maybe the hotels, but not Brunei. I feel for all of the employees who work tirelessly to make a decent living in such a highly overpriced city/state. If we care so much about others,… Read more »

Rob
Guest
Rob

Sorry about the employees who got caught up in this – but when you work for a company that is owned / run by a ruthless man / soon to be responsible for murder or probably already is — you shouldn’t want to keep working for ANY of his properties. (Your illogical position would then justify guards working for Hitler. As you cry, but they have families to feed.) —– Boycott ALL businesses and properties of Brunei – NOW – This is not open for discussion. —- Stop putting MONEY over people’s lives and the forever harmful effects of what… Read more »

LADouglas
Guest
LADouglas

Rob – thanks for this. I’ve struggled on how to support the boycott but worried about the staff of their hotels. Your comments have guided me “guards of Hitler” is all it took. Good work.

Mohammed Saleh
Guest
Mohammed Saleh

The workers are free to find another job while the people who are stoned to death because the hotel’s owner implemented Sharia law will be killed. Caring about others doesn’t mean we should overlook or accept such egregious and dreadful behavior.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

Let’s see what our City Council does about it.

Royce
Guest
Royce

I am horrified that this man is doing this – and allowing it. As one victim from this mindset – is one victim too many. —- So what is especially the leaders of the LGBT community, and the movie industry, and the residents of Beverly Hills / Bel Air planning to do about this? Just let it pass? —- There should be a non-stop boycott of his properties – as well as leader / city letters must be drafted and posted / heard. —

Royce
Guest
Royce

Let’s see what the LGBT community, the industry and the “big shots” of Beverly Hills does about this evil man – who own the PINK hotel – or will they remain silent and look the other way? –

Woody McBreairty
Guest
Woody McBreairty

I attended this demonstration against the Sultan in 2015. There was a very big, active crowd & seemed like it would have a very lasting effect. (The Hotel management came over with bottled water & other refreshments to symbolize their support & good will). I had wondered how & why everything had fizzled out so fast. Apparently the “celebrity participation & support” were short lived. Goes to show that resistance takes persistence. Time for another bigger & better & louder demonstration, preferably around the streets of the Hotel itself to draw attention from passing traffic & the media publicity will… Read more »