Target: Beverly Hills City Council
Goal: Commend the city council for taking a stand against new anti-gay laws imposed by Brunei’s sultan
New laws recently started to go into effect in Brunei that make it a crime to be homosexual, and dramatically increase the punishment from a maximum 10 year prison sentence to death by stoning. This change in the law is part of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah’s plan to transition Brunei from the preexisting secular law tradition toward Islamic Sharia law; when the Sultan initially announced his plan, he claimed it would apply only to Muslim residents. But the “Stone the Gays” law and other revised penal codes that restrict the rights of non-Muslims and women apply to all Brunei citizens, and many social justice advocates are speaking out against the violence these laws have and will bring down upon women, non-Muslims, and LGBTQ individuals.
Even Hollywood is getting in on the action: the Beverly Hills City Council recently voted unanimously to demand that the Sultan cease funding hotels in the city and divest his ownership of the Beverly Hills Hotel. The Dorchester Collection is owned by the Sultan through the Ministry of Finance of Brunei, and includes a number of luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and around the world. A handful of celebrities publicly joined the campaign, including Ellen DeGeneres, Stephen Fry, and Virgin founder and chairman Richard Branson; Jay Leno took his support for the LGBTQ community a bit further by attending a protest.
By signing this petition, you are thanking the Beverly Hills City Council for refusing to tolerate or be complicit in discrimination and torture. You are encouraging the City Council to continue to be vigilant against social injustice in the city and as far as their influence extends.
Dear Beverly Hills City Council and Mayor Lili Bosse,
I am extremely disappointed in the Sultan of Brunei’s alteration of the penal code to make homosexual acts punishable with death by stoning. I am relieved to hear that the City Council has taken action to discourage the Sultan using economic means, by demanding he stop funding hotels in Beverly Hills and thereby declaring such discrimination unacceptable in the city. I do encourage you to keep in mind that the employees of these hotels should not be punished for the crimes of the Dorchester Collection’s owner.
Thank you for standing up against the criminalization of homosexuality, and refusing to be complicit in the stoning of LGBTQ individuals in Brunei. I urge you to continue to fight against social injustice with all your power.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Turkish Flame via Wikimedia Commons