Elton John joins Sultan of Brunei hotel boycott over anti-gay laws

elton john on stage
Photo: Elton John/Instagram

Sir Elton John has joined a growing list of those condemning Brunei’s introduction of brutal new anti-gay laws by calling for a boycott of hotels owned by the country’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

People in the small Asian nation who engage in homosexual activity can be flogged and stoned to death under strict new Islamic laws set to take effect in the country on Wednesday, outraging human rights advocates.

Elton has joined actor George Clooney and others in calling for a boycott of nine hotels owned by Bolkiah to protest the new laws.

“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,” the singer wrote on Twitter.

“I believe that love is love and being able to love as we choose is a basic human right. Wherever we go, my husband David and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect – as do each and every one of the millions of LGBTQ+ people around the world.

“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.”

The nine hotels are located in Britain, France, Italy and the United States, and include London’s exclusive Dorchester and the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

The Dorchester Collection luxury chain told CNN in a statement that its code emphasises “equality, respect and integrity in all areas” and that “we do not tolerate any form of discrimination.”

George Clooney called for the boycott last week, saying “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”.

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