Beverly Hills City Council asks Brunei Sultan to sell hotel amid ‘stone the gays’ law controversy

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The city council in Beverly Hills has passed a resolution condemning Brunei’s law to introduce death by stoning as a penalty for homosexuality, and urged the country’s Sultan to sell a hotel subject of a boycott.

The law, which began to be phased in last week, replaces the maximum ten-year prison sentence for homosexuality with death by stoning in the Islamic state.

This led to boycotts of luxury hotel chain the Dorchester Collection, which is owned by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei.

Beverly Hills city council urged the Sultan to sell the hotel, and stopped short of officially joining the boycott.

Despite this Mayor Lili Bosse said she had made the “personal decision” to boycott the hotel, describing the laws as “shocking and inhumane”.

Bosse told the Guardian: “We are standing for human rights, we are standing for dignity and we are standing for those who don’t have a voice.”

The hotel’s official historian Robert S Anderson spoke at the meeting to say the hotel had already lost out on $1.5million (£883,000) since the boycott began. His mother opened the hotel in 1912.

He said: “The Beverly Hills Hotel does not send any money back to Brunei. It is reinvested in the community, in the hotel.”

The hotel has lost out on the pre-Oscars event, the Night Before fundraiser.

On Saturday, Virgin boss Richard Branson announced a company-wide boycott of the hotel chain, while celebrities including Stephen FryEllen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne have all urged for businesses to distance themselves from the chain.

The Human Rights Group president Chad Griffin urged the hotel to stop offering same-sex marriage services which offer free strawberries and champagne.

“The sultan is offering free strawberries to LGBT couples in LA and death by stoning to those in Brunei,” said Griffin in a statement.

“This is the height of hypocrisy, and we must ensure that profits from LGBT weddings in the US stop going to regime that could soon start executing its LGBT citizens.”