Elton John joins call for boycott of Brunei-owned hotels

LONDON, United Kingdom – British pop legend Elton John has joined "friend" George Clooney in calling for a boycott of 9 Brunei-owned hotels over the sultanate's new death-penalty laws for gay sex and adultery.

"I commend my friend, #GeorgeClooney, for taking a stand against the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry taking place in the nation of #Brunei - a place where gay people are brutalized, or worse - by boycotting the Sultan's hotels," the Rocket Man singer wrote on his Twitter page late Saturday, March 30.

The 72-year-old, a veteran gay rights campaigner, said his "heart went out" to staff at the hotels, but that "we must send a message, however we can, that such treatment is unacceptable."

I commend my friend, #GeorgeClooney, for taking a stand against the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry taking place in the nation of #Brunei - a place where gay people are brutalized, or worse - by boycotting the Sultan’s hotels. https://t.co/8ymurW7hqm — Elton John (@eltonofficial) March 30, 2019Here are the hotels to boycott: The Dorchester, London 45 Park Lane, London Coworth Park, UK The Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles Le Meurice, Paris Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris Hotel Eden, Rome Hotel Principe di Savoia, Mi Elton xx — Elton John (@eltonofficial) March 30, 2019

The 9 hotels mentioned by Clooney are located in the US, Britain, France and Italy.

They include London's exclusive Dorchester and the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. 

The Dorchester was not available for immediate comment on the boycott.

Clooney called for the boycott earlier this week, saying "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."

Brunei is an absolute monarchy, which has been ruled for 51 years by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. 

It will implement the harsh new penal code  which also mandates amputation of a hand and foot for theft  starting next Wednesday.

Homosexuality is already illegal in the sultanate, but it will now become a capital offence. The law only applies to Muslims.

Brunei first announced the measures in 2013, but implementation has been delayed as officials worked out the practical details, and in the face of opposition by rights groups. Rappler.com