March 29, 2019 at 3:15 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
George Clooney calls for boycott of Sultan Of Brunei’s hotels over anti-gay death law
George Clooney. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Actor George Clooney has called for a boycott of nine hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei in protest of Brunei’s new anti-gay stoning law.

Staring on April 3, a new law in Brunei will make gay sex punishable by stoning. In an op-ed for Deadline, Clooney urges the public not to patron The Dorchester (London), 45 Park Lane (London), Coworth Park (U.K.), The Beverly Hills Hotel (Beverly Hills), Hotel Bel-Air (Los Angeles), Le Meurice (Paris), Hotel Plaza Athenee (Paris), Hotel Eden (Rome) and Hotel Principe di Savoia (Milan).

“They’re nice hotels. The people who work there are kind and helpful and have no part in the ownership of these properties. But let’s be clear, 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,” Clooney writes.

“Brunei is a Monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens? I’ve learned over years of dealing with murderous regimes that you can’t shame them. But you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way,” he added.

Brunei had made homosexuality illegal in 2014 but the punishment was prison time. Celebrities canceled events and fundraisers at The Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills Hotel at the time but as Clooney notes “when the white heat of outrage moves on to the hundred other reasons to be outraged,” the boycott ended.

GLAAD and Jamie Lee Curtis showed their support for Clooney’s boycott on social media.

A State Department spokesperson on Friday said the U.S. “is concerned with Brunei’s decision to implement Phases Two and Three of the Sharia Penal Code. Some of the punishments in the law appear inconsistent with international human rights obligations, including with respect to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

“We have encouraged Brunei to ratify and implement the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which it signed in 2015, and to sign, ratify, and implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” added the spokesperson in a statement to the Washington Blade.

Michael K. Lavers contributed to this article.

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