Last month, the tiny nation of Brunei began implementing laws that would, among other things, stone people to death for being LGBT. These laws have caused international outrage, with several protests being held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who pushed these harsh laws through.
GLAAD is joining those who have spoken out for the LGBT people of Brunei whose lives are in danger. GLAAD is returning donations from the Beverly Hills Hotel to the GLAAD Media Awards with the following letter:
Dear Christopher Cowdray,
I wanted to write to you about the Beverly Hills Hotel's recent donation to the GLAAD Media Awards. I know that you are working to rebuild your hotel's standing with the LGBT community as well as our allies, but GLAAD is not interested in being a public relations pawn. Thanks, but no thanks.
The Beverly Hills Hotel has been the subject of much public outrage lately, with celebrities and corporations speaking out against the horrific atrocities facing women and LGBT people in Brunei. You have been shockingly silent when it comes to criticizing the murders. LGBT people and our allies do not want our hard-earned money to support a regime that will stone to death someone just because of who they are or who they love.
Companies like the Dorchester Collection that are affiliated with Brunei or any other country that would execute LGBT people will continue to be called out by LGBT people, and all fair-minded people, around the world. The violence facing women and LGBT people in Brunei will not only hurt your current businesses, but serve as a roadblocks to new hotels opening in cities that support LGBT people. As part of GLAAD's Global Voices program, we will continue to educate potential consumers about your ownership, as well as the other global brands doing business in Brunei.
Sarah Kate Ellis
President and CEO, GLAAD
Protests of the hotel over the stoning law have already cost at least $1.5 million, and that number will continue to rise. GLAAD is known for its dogged persistence in keeping attention on unjust practices. One can only look at our work with the Boy Scouts over the past two years, the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and attention on LGBT people in Russia to know that the pressure will not let up on the Beverly Hills Hotel.