Gay Sex Now Punishable By Stoning In Brunei

Terrible.

Brunei, a small nation on the island of Borneo led by Sultan and Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah, has implemented new national laws stating that gay sex and adultery are punishable by whipping and death by stoning. Brunei made homosexuality illegal during British colonial rule, but it was previously only punishable by imprisonment. However, the country has slowly become more conservative in recent years. The new laws, including the law punishing gay sex with death, were introduced in 2014 and have been slowly rolled out since.

This new law obviously puts LGBTQ people in Brunei at risk and has prompted widespread condemnation from international human rights groups. Rachel Chhoa-Howard, a Brunei researcher at Amnesty International, told The Guardian that the new law imposes “cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments” and “blatantly restricts the rights to freedom of expression, religion, and belief and codifies discrimination against women and girls. To legalize such cruel and inhuman penalties is appalling of itself.”

In response, George Clooney and others are calling for a boycott of nine international hotels owned by Brunei, including two in Los Angeles: the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Bel-Air. In an op-ed published on Deadline Hollywood, Clooney wrote: “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.” He called for readers to boycott the hotels and asked, “are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?”

“We are facing a dangerous crisis as Brunei is close to implementing laws that impose state-sponsored torture and murder of LGBTQ people,” HRC Global Director Ty Cobb said about the new laws in a statement. “It’s absolutely crucial that the international community speak out now and demand that the Sultan of Brunei stop these barbaric changes that threaten the lives of Brunei citizens.”


What Do You Think?