LA Official Joins Boycott of Brunei-Owned Sites

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer joined the protest Tuesday against hotels managed by the Brunei government because of “barbaric” penalties the nation has against gay people.
     Hassanal Bolkiah, the sultan of Brunei, called the new penal code a “great achievement.” Enacted on April 22 under Islamic law, it will impose a penalty of stoning by death on citizens for committing adultery or having gay sex. The law will be in full force by 2015. Homosexuality is already illegal in the Southeast Asia nation.
     “The decision to implement the [Shariah penal code] is not for fun but is to obey Allah’s command as written in the Quran,” the sultan reportedly said last week.
     Feuer condemned the new law, saying he will boycott Hotel Bel Air and Beverley Hills Hotel, owned by the Brunei Investment agency, an arm of the Brunei government. The sultan’s agency owns the Dorchester Collection, which manages the two hotels.
     “I will not set foot in either the Hotel Bel Air or Beverly Hills Hotel until this issue is resolved,” Feuer said. “The Brunei government’s recent adoption of a barbaric penal code cannot stand. I call upon all the people of Los Angeles to join this boycott.”
     This week, Deadline Hollywood reported that youth group Teen Line had decided to move a fundraising event honoring Sony executive Amy Pascal from the Beverly Hills hotel on Sunset Boulevard to Sony’s studio lot in Culver City.
     The Motion Picture and Television Fund also shifted its annual Oscar fundraising event to a different location, the Hollywood Reporter said.
     Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg has reportedly declared Tinsel Town’s most iconic hotels off limits. Virgin entrepreneur Richard Branson and comedian Ellen DeGeneres have condemned Brunei’s harsh penalties on gays and others.
     The Global Women’s Rights Awards, co-chaired by Jay Leno and his wife, and the event’s sponsor, the Feminist Majority Foundation canceled their reservation to host the event at the hotel. Last week, Leno joined the foundation in protest outside the hotel, The New York Times reported.
     Dorchester Collection’s Christopher Cowdray did not address the penal code or the treatment of homosexuals in the country.
     “We believe this boycott should not be directed to our hotels and dedicated employees,” Cowdray told The New York Times.

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