News (World)

Will the UK kick Brunei out of the Commonwealth as pressure builds over gay stoning law?

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Photo: Presidential photo/Wikimedia Commons

People all over the world are taking action to express their disapproval of Brunei’s gay stoning law.

Earlier this week, Brunei implemented part of reforms that were enacted in 2013 that allow stoning as a possible punishment for violating the country’s anti-sodomy law.

The U.S. has yet to condemn the law, but there are people all over the world taking a stance against the law.

Related: The world is condemning Brunei’s gay stoning law, but America is just vaguely ‘concerned’

A lawmaker in the United Kingdom is calling for Brunei’s membership in the Commonwealth to be suspended.

Labour Member of Parliament Khalid Mahmood called the law “backwards” and “heartbreaking.”

“It is also a clear breach of Brunei’s obligations under the Commonwealth charter in respect of human rights and there surely must be immediate consequences for Brunei if they press ahead of these proposals in terms of membership of the Commonwealth,” he said.

The University of Aberdeen will consider suspending an honorary doctorate it awarded Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

“In light of this new information this matter will be raised as a matter of urgency with the University’s Honorary Degrees Committee,” a university spokesperson told Gay Star News.

The University of Oxford and King’s College London also awarded the sultan honorary degrees, but they said that they will not consider rescinding those.

Ads for Royal Brunei Airlines are being removed from the London public transportation system.

The ads describe Brunei as an “abode of peace” and boast about its skyscrapers.

Transport for London, which received a complaint about the ads from a London Assembly member, said that they were “compliant with our advertising policy” when they were accepted, but they are now considered a matter of “great public sensitivity and controversy.”

Celebrities are joining George Clooney’s call for a boycott of several hotels owned by the sultan of Brunei. Ellen Degeneres tweeted her support for the boycott.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King called the law an “atrocity.”

Elton John denounced the law.

Dustin Lance Black said that people who go to the hotels are supporting “murderers.”

Singer Nancy Sinatra said that she has been boycotting the Beverly Hills Hotel for years.

Other people have denounced the hotels on social media, so much so that they had to remove their accounts.

One of the hotels, the Dorchester in London, said that they deactivated their “social pages,” citing “personal abuse” they were receiving.

While their Twitter account is still active, their Facebook page has been taken offline.

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