US: Picketers target Brunei-owned hotel over ‘stone the gays’ law

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Picketers are targeting a luxury hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei, after he signed a law calling for gay people to be stoned to death.

Hotel group The Dorchester Collection has come under repeated fire, after Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah signed the law last month.

Last week an LGBT philanthropist conference opted to cancel its booking with the group’s luxury Beverly Hills Hotel, and on Friday designers Peter Som and Brian Atwood said they would move Fashion Week events away from the chain.

British actor Sephen Fry said yesterday that he was cancelling his booking at the group’s Coworth Park Hotel, in Ascot.

A group has now begun to picket outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, and says it will educate people about the hotel’s owners.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, around 15 people were gathered outside the hotel on Saturday, holding a banner that states: ‘This hotel is owned by homophobes’.

Actress Beth Grant, who appears in The Mindy Project, said: “Hollywood spends a lot of money at the Beverly Hills Hotel and I don’t want it to end up in the hands of that person.

“We just want in a loving and compassionate way to put an end to [the law].”

Musician Rain Phoenix added: “We’re here in a peaceful way to energize taking more responsibility.

“Once people know where our money goes, that the things people buy affect people far away, courageous love can not only quell but transform the hate.

“If we greet hate with hate, we only create more hate.”

Before the passage of the new law, same-sex sexual activity was punishable in the Islamic state with up to 10 years’ imprisonment, but now can carry the death penalty.

The law was scheduled to come into force on Tuesday, but an official said that it would now be put in place “in the very near future”.