As Clooney noted in his op-ed to Deadline, the Sultan of Brunei owns a handful of luxury hotels, including the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Dorchester in London and the Plaza Athenee in Paris.
“Discrimination on the basis of sexuality is plain wrong and has no place in any society. That’s why I commend my friend, George Clooney, for taking a stand and calling out the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry now being enshrined in law in the nation of Brunei, a place where gay people are brutalized or worse,” Elton John said in a statement.
“As George has said, the Sultan of Brunei owns many luxury hotels around the world – hotels which David and I have found it impossible to visit since the Sultan’s plan to push for sharia law in Brunei became public. Our hearts go out to the good, hardworking employees of these properties, many of whom we know to be gay.”
John added, “I believe that love is love and being able to love as we choose is a basic human right. Wherever we go, my husband David and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect – as do each and every one of the millions of LGBTQ+ people around the world.”
On April 3rd, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah will institute “Sharia law” in the nation of 400,000 people, which would make sodomy, rape and adultery punishable by death and penalize theft with amputation, Reuters reports.
“Let’s be clear, every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery,” Clooney wrote.
“Brunei is a Monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws. But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations? Are we really going to help fund the murder of innocent citizens?”
John concluded in his statement Saturday, “We recognize that sovereign countries will make decisions for their own citizens. But we feel we must send a message, however we can, that such treatment is unacceptable. We must never underestimate the power of our voices – and our actions – to spark the change we need to see.”