The Beverly Hills Hotel has become the subject of a boycott by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist groups after the owner, and leader of the small Southeast Asian nation Brunei, instituted outrageous anti-gay legislation in his home country.
According to The Washington Blade, The OutGiving Conference, an event for wealthy LGBT donors hosted by the Gill Action Fund, announced last week that it would be canceling the conference at The Beverly Hills Hotel. The cancellation reportedly came after organizers realized the hotel was owned by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, who is the leader of the country that recently passed harsh penalties for same-sex acts.
As reported by The Huffington Post last week, Brunei is slated to allow death by stoning as punishment for gay sex. Other offenses referenced in the revision of capital punishment regulations reportedly include "rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims, insulting any verses of the Quran and Hadith, blasphemy, declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim, and murder."
Executive Director of Gill Action Kirk Fordham reportedly stated that a new venue would be chosen following the event's cancellation. “In light of the horrific anti-gay policy approved by the government of Brunei, Gill Action made the decision earlier today to relocate its conference from the Beverly Hills Hotel to another property,” Fordham said in a statement. “We are seeking a return of all deposits."
In response to the boycott, The Beverly Hills Hotel sent a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that reads, in part, "[W]e do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind. We are also against any law in any other country around the world that punishes people for their religious beliefs, ethnicity, race or sexual orientation. The laws and policies that govern how we run our hotel have nothing to do with the laws that exist in any other country outside of the United States."
This isn't the first time that the Beverly Hills Hotel's ties to anti-gay Brunei resulted in a boycott from LGBT groups. In February 2013, a group called "Dump The Beverly Hills Hotel" began publicly encouraging individuals to no longer patronize the business due to its ties to "state-sponsored homophobia."