Whitfield Sides with Sultan of Brunei & Against Human Rights

by Ianthe Metzger

For Beverly Hills fundraiser, Congressman selects hotel of ruler that could start stoning women and LGBT people

WASHINGTON –– Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, criticized the decision by Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) to host a fundraiser during his “district work period” at a hotel owned by the notorious Sultan of Brunei in Beverly Hills, CA.  According to the Washington Post, Whitfield and his political action committee have booked The Beverly Hills Hotel bar and “poolside cabana” for a fundraiser this weekend

The Sultan has faced an international backlash following his decision in April to begin implementing a horrific series of penal code reforms that could lead to stoning of women and LGBT people in Brunei.  The United Nations Commission on Human Rights condemned the penal code reforms, and states that stoning is considered to be "torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" under international law. 

The Human Rights Campaign, civil rights organizations, as well as prominent citizens and leaders in business and philanthropy have widely condemned these draconian laws, and have urged all citizens to stay away from the Sultan’s hotels. These actions have led to a sharp drop-off in business for Sultan’s hotel in Beverly Hills and have impacted others around the world as well.

“The simple truth is that profits from this hotel belong to a regime that could start stoning women and LGBT people as soon as next year,” said Fred Sainz, HRC’s VP of Communication and Marketing.  “It’s deeply disappointing that Congressman Whitfield sided with the Sultan and against the fundamental human rights of women and LGBT people in Brunei.  He’s already handed over tens of thousands of dollars to the Sultan through his hotel, and that stream of cash needs to stop.”

According to OpenSecrets.com and the Center for Responsive Politics, Whitfield’s “Thoroughbred” PAC has spent four times more money at the Beverly Hills Hotel--

$35,000—than it has contributed to state and local parties and candidates in Kentucky this cycle.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.


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