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Picketers target Beverly Hills Hotel to protest anti-gay Brunei owner

Picketers target Beverly Hills Hotel to protest anti-gay Brunei owner

Protests against Brunei’s proposed anti-gay policies continued on Saturday (26 April) when a small group of campaigners picketed outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, US.

In light of the Sultanate of Brunei’s plans to make homosexuality a crime punishable by stoning, several equality groups and campaigners have called for people to boycott the chain of hotels owned by him.

On Saturday this continued when around 15 people picketed the Beverly Hills Hotel to raise awareness the hotel is owned by anti-gay Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

Among the banners and posters held by protesters was one in particular which read: ‘This hotel is owned by homophobes’, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

US actress Beth Grant, who is currently appearing on series The Mindy Project, supported the protest.

‘Hollywood spends a lot of money at the Beverly Hills Hotel and I don’t want it to end up in the hands of that person’ she said.

‘We just want in a loving and compassionate way to put an end to it.’

Cameron Silver, who helped to organize the protest, felt it was time for the hotel franchise to recognize their connection to Brunei.

‘I’m here because I believe the Dorchester Collection needs to make a direct statement about their connection to the Sultan of Brunei’ he said.

‘We’re not trying put the hotels out of business or threaten the jobs of people who work here. This is not going to go on forever.’

The world famous Beverly Hills Hotel has been in the firing line since its connection to Brunei was revealed.

Last week, participants of an LGBTI conference dropped the use of the hotel as their location after Brunei’s anti-gay policies were revealed.

The Sultan controls the Brunei Investment Agency which owns the Dorchester Collection.

The Beverly Hills Hotel responded to the protest.

‘We continue to abide by the laws of the countries we operate in and do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind’ a spokesperson said.

‘The laws that exist in other countries outside of where Dorchester Collection operates do not affect the policies that govern how we run our hotels.

‘Dorchester Collection’s code, endorsed by the company’s ownership, emphasizes equality, respect and integrity in all areas of our operation, and strongly values people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees.’