Voting with our dollars has worked, at least temporarily — boycotts of his hotel chain convinced the Sultan of Brunei not to have LGBTQ people in his country stoned to death. At least… not yet.
International outrage appears to have temporarily halted Brunei’s new death penalty, by stoning, for being gay, part of the country’s adoption of Islamic law. Boycotts against hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei likely impacted the decision to not implement the death penalty — but that block is temporary, as CNN reports.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah delivered a speech on Sunday citing what he called “misconceptions” about the law, which would punish LGBTQ people for being LGBTQ, or anyone convicted of the “crime” of engaging in sexual conduct with a person of the same gender, with death.
“However, we believe that once these [misconceptions] have been cleared, the merit of the law will be evident,” the Sultan said, strongly suggesting the death penalty will be implemented.
The penalty of stoning to death also applies to those convicted of rape or adultery.
“Both the common law and the Syariah law aim to ensure peace and harmony of the country. They are also crucial in protecting the morality and decency of the public as well as respecting the privacy of individuals,” he claimed.
LGBTQ people may be breathing a sigh of relief, but the level of anti-LGBTQ animus is extreme in Brunei. Homosexuality is still illegal and those convicted of being gay can still be imprisoned for 10 years.