The East Asian nation of Brunei was expected last week to implement religious law that dictates rapists, adulterers and same-sex lovers should be stoned to death.

Unfortunately for us this enlightened nation has a hand in our landscape. Brunei's Sultan and prime minister, Hassanal Bolkiah, owns the Beverly Hills hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air.

As celebrities are boycotting the venues, the Beverly Hills City Council is considering a motion that will ask “the government of Brunei to divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel.”
The council will take the matter up Tuesday during its 7 p.m. meeting. Mayor Lili Bosse is bringing the matter before her colleagues.

Deputy city manager for public affairs Cheryl Friedling (they have a deputy city manager for public affairs?!) recommends that the council hit Brunei hard. She calls for a resolution …

 … condemning the government of Brunei's new laws that impose harsh penalties, including death by stoning, for homosexuality and other behaviors.

She notes that Beverly Hills is not the place for intolerance toward the LGBT community:

In recent years, the Beverly Hills City Council has strongly supported basic human rights such as gay rights, marriage equality, and the right of all people to live with dignity and freedom from oppression and discrimination.

The Beverly Hills City Council in 2010 passed a resolution condemning Iran for imposing a penalty of death by stoning for a woman accused of adultery. Her sentence was eventually reduced to 10 years in prison, which was attributed to international pressure.

Credit: Michael Locke/LA Weekly Flickr pool

Credit: Michael Locke/LA Weekly Flickr pool

The Feminist Majority Foundation announced this week that it is pulling its Global Women's Rights Awards from the hotel and will instead hold a protest. The event, which was to be hosted by Jay and Mavis Leno, had been scheduled for tonight.

Ellen DeGeneres said on Twitter that “I won't be visiting the Hotel Bel-Air or the Beverly Hills Hotel until this is resolved.”

And the OutConference reportedly canceled plans to hold a confab at the Beverly Hills Hotel over the weekend.

The company that runs the hotels, Dorchester Collection, emphasized in a statement to the Weekly that the mores of Brunei do not apply in Beverly Hills. Dorchester director of communications Julia Record:

Dorchester Collection abides by the laws of the countries we operate in. The hotels in our collection are governed by Dorchester Collection's Code, endorsed by the company's ownership, which emphasizes equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly