Beverly Hills Hotel Boycotted by LGBT Group Over Sultan of Brunei Ownership (Report)
UPDATED: The Gill Action fund moved conference locations after learning that the owner of the hotel, and leader of the wealthy Southeast Asian nation, will institute a policy that calls for gays to be stoned to death.
The Beverly Hills Hotel is the subject of a boycott by an LGBT advocacy group over an anti-gay policy instituted by the owner of the hotel chain, the Sultan of Brunei.
The Gill Action Fund -- a national political organization founded by entrepreneur and activist Tim Gill -- was scheduled to hold a conference for political donors at the Beverly Hills Hotel on May 1-4, according to The Washington Blade. (A spokesperson for the Beverly Hills Hotel declined to comment on the the details of the conference.)
The executive director of the fund, Kirk Fordham, disclosed to the Blade that it was moving locations due to the government of Brunei's new penal code. “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,” Fordam told the paper.
The Southeast Asian nation of Brunei will institute a revised penal code on April 22 that includes "stoning to death" for a broad range of sexual offenses, according to a United Nations news release on April 11. The country's leader, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, had announced plans last October to implement the code, which applies only to Muslims, The Associated Press reported at the time.
Bolkiah controls Brunei Investment Agency, which counts the Dorchester Group as a subsidiary. The Dorchester Group owns The Dorchester Collection, which owns The Beverly Hills Hotel. Other hotels in the Dorchester Collection include The Hotel Bel-Air in L.A., 45 Park Lane in London and Le Meurice in Paris.
Many A-list industry events are held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, including The Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment gala, hosted on Dec. 11 of last year.
"[W]e do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind," read a statement issued by the Beverly Hills Hotel to THR. "We are also against any law in any other country around the world that punishes people for their religious beliefs, ethnicity, race or sexual orientation. The laws and policies that govern how we run our hotel have nothing to do with the laws that exist in any other country outside of the United States. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination and strongly value people and cultural diversity amongst our guests and employees."
Correction: This story originally stated that the Crosby Street Hotel in New York is part of the Dorchester Collection. In fact, the Crosby is not affiliated with the group. The hotel is owned by the Firmdale Group.