Entertainment

Sir Elton John backs George Clooney's Brunei hotel boycott over anti-LGBT laws

Sir Elton said the laws are “unacceptable”.

Sir Elton John has backed George Clooney’s calls to boycott luxury hotels owned by the Sultan Of Brunei after the tiny oil-rich nation announced the introduction of anti-LGBT laws.

Brunei, a south-east Asian country with a population of about 430,00 people, could from April 3 hand a death sentence to anyone found guilty of homosexual acts or adultery, with punishments including whipping and stoning.

Sir Elton John and David Furnish
Sir Elton John said he and husband David Furnish are boycotting Brunei-owned hotels over anti-LGBT laws (PA)

The laws, as part of the country’s interpretation of Sharia Law, also introduce amputation of the hands or feet as punishment for robbery, according to an announcement by the country’s attorney general.

In response, Hollywood star Clooney demanded a boycott of exclusive hotels owned by the Sultan Of Brunei, three of which are in the UK including London’s The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane.

Sir Elton, who married husband David Furnish in 2014, has now joined Clooney in calling for a boycott and said he has “long refused” to stay at the hotels.

He said: “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.

“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.”

George Clooney
George Clooney called for a boycott of luxury hotels owned by Brunei (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), through the Dorchester Collection, owns London’s The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane as well as Coworth Park in Berkshire.

Also in its portfolio of hotels, among the world’s most exclusive, are two of Hollywood’s best-known establishments, The Bel-Air and The Beverly Hills.

Protests against the BIA were first started in 2014 when the anti-LGBT laws were initially announced.

A statement from the Dorchester Collection said: “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.”

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