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Elton John Backs Brunei Boycott Amid Anti-Gay Death Sentence Law

Elton John Backs Brunei Boycott Amid Anti-Gay Death Sentence Law

Sir Elton John has backed George Clooney's plan to boycott hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei after the country introduced a law that would allow the death sentence for gay sex.

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The controversial new law is set to come into effect from next week (3 April) in the southeast Asian nation, granting stoning or whipping to death for anyone found to have had gay sex, as well as limb amputation of convicted thieves.

The law has come under heavy criticism from human rights groups, who continue to campaign against the decision to go ahead with the extreme punishments.

In the celebrity realm, Clooney's stand against the nation's anti-gay laws has gained traction, including from pal and LGBTQ+ icon Elton John.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In a recent tweet, the singer wrote: "I commend my friend, #GeorgeClooney, for taking a stand against the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry taking place in the nation of #Brunei - a place where gay people are brutalized, or worse - by boycotting the Sultan's hotels".

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The statement refers to a recent feature published in Deadline, in which the actor calls on the world to boycott the properties of Sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, who supports the law and owns a number of luxury hotels across the world.

Clooney wrote: "Every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery."

With another tweet, Sir Elton listed the properties to avoid in the hope that everyone will do the same.

"Our hearts go out to the good, hardworking employees of properties owned by the Sultan of Brunei, many of whom we know to be gay...

"We must send a message, however we can, that such treatment is unacceptable. That's why David and I have long refused to stay at these hotels and will continue to do so.

"We hope you will join us in solidarity."

In addition to their appeal, many organisations and institutions across the world are calling on an immediate halt of the law, including Amnesty International who described the punishments as 'heinous'.

"The international community must urgently condemn Brunei's move to put these cruel penalties into practice," said Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Amnesty's Brunei Researcher.

"To legalise such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself. Some of the potential 'offences' should not even be deemed crimes at all, including consensual sex between adults of the same gender."

The Dorchester Collection said in a statement: "Dorchester Collection's code emphasises equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.

"Inclusion and diversity remain core beliefs as we do not tolerate any form of discrimination."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Death Penalty, LGBTQ+, law, Gay

Daisy Phillipson

Daisy is a UK-based freelance journalist with too many opinions. She loves everything film and music-related and has a track record writing for Little White Lies, BWRC, and Film Daily. Contact her at [email protected]

 

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