As we reported last week, the tiny Asian sultanate of Brunei is implementing a revised Sharia penal code that calls for homosexuality to be punished by stoning. The new laws take effect tomorrow.
The Sultan of Brunei is one of the world's richest men, and he owns a portfolio of luxury properties around the world that includes the historic Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
A large, off-the-record LGBT donor conference presented by Gill Action, a group founded by equality advocate and noted gay philanthropist Tim Gill, was scheduled to be held there at the beginning of May, but organizers announced at the end of last week -- just two weeks before the scheduled start date -- that they are moving the event to protest the new law.
The Washington Blade reports:
The OutGiving conference, known this year as "Winning the Heartland," was set as of Thursday to take place at the Beverly Hills Hotel from May 1-4, according to the registration website for the conference...
After the Washington Blade raised the connection on Thursday with the Gill Action Fund, which organizes OutGiving, the organization said it had notified the hotel earlier in the day the conference would no longer take place at that location.
Kirk Fordham, executive director of Gill Action, informed the Blade that a new venue would be chosen in the aftermath of the announcement from the sultan of Brunei.
"In light of the horrific anti-gay policy approved by the Government of Brunei, Gill Action made the decision earlier today to relocate its conference from the Beverly Hills Hotel to another property," Fordham said.
UPDATE, 6:30 P.M. EDT: For those of you asking for a list of Brunei-owned hotel properties, activist Cleve Jones has provided the following list:
- In the UK: The Dorchester, 45 Park Lane and Coworth Park
- In Paris: Le Meurice and Hôtel Plaza Athénée
- In Geneva: Le Richemond
- In Milan: Hotel Principe di Savoia
- In Rome: Hotel Eden
- In Los Angeles: The Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air
Image via Wikipedia.