Today HRC called on the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air to immediately stop promoting specialized services to LGBT couples seeking to have wedding ceremonies in the Los Angeles area. Both hotels are part of the Dorchester Collection, which are owned by the Sultan of Brunei and his Brunei Investment Agency. Brunei recently announced that it is advancing a series of penal code reforms that will include stoning as a possible punishment for relations between its LGBT citizens.
According to the special “Gay Weddings Los Angeles” page on the Dorchester Collection’s website, The Beverly Hills Hotel offers to “assist you and/or your wedding consultant to reserve your wedding date, design your menu and customized beverage selections, and finalize your schedule of events for your gay wedding in Los Angeles.” The hotel also offers “complimentary wedding services” for LGBT couples that include a menu tasting, a night’s stay for newly-married spouses, as well as champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries for their wedding night.
“The Sultan is offering free strawberries to LGBT couples in L.A. and death by stoning to those in Brunei,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This is the height of hypocrisy, and we must ensure that profits from LGBT weddings in the U.S. stop going to a regime that could soon start executing its LGBT citizens.”
An archived version of the page on the Dorchester Collection’s website is available here.
Last week, HRC strongly condemned Brunei’s decision to soon become the eighth nation to allow for capital punishment to be used against its LGBT citizens. It also called on members of the LGBT community and its allies to avoid the Dorchester Collection’s hotels, and HRC President Chad Griffin sent letters to organizations with events scheduled to take place at the Beverly Hills Hotel and encouraged them to find new venues.
In April, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights condemned Brunei’s penal code reforms, saying it was "deeply concerned" and that stoning was considered to be "torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" under international law.