Richard Branson announces Virgin boycott of Brunei-owned hotels over ‘stone the gays’ law

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Sir Richard Branson has announced a Virgin-wide boycott of a Brunei-owned hotel chain, over the country’s new anti-gay law.

The law, which is being phased in as of last Thursday, replaces the maximum ten-year prison sentence for homosexuality with death by stoning in the Islamic state.

Celebrities including Stephen FryEllen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne have urged for companies to boycott the Dorchester Collection luxury hotel chain, owned by the Sultan of Brunei.

Branson has now added his voice to the calls, announcing a Virgin-wide boycott of the luxury hotel chain, which will take effect across his business empire.

He said: “No Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights.”

Earlier this year, the Virgin boss lobbied with business leaders against Uganda and Nigeria over anti-gay laws, and he also backed the Out4Marriage campaign in 2012.

Yesterday, the president of the Human Rights Campaign wrote to every group that is due to hold an event at the Dorchester Collection’s LA hotels, Hotel Bel-Air and the Beverly Hills Hotel, encouraging them to take their business elsewhere.

Brunei is one of eight countries in the world that maintains the death penalty for homosexuality.