Some of the world’s biggest banks have stopped their employees from staying at hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. This follows his decision to change laws which would stone people to death for having homosexual sex.
Last month, Gay Star News exclusively reported the country of Brunei would introduce strict Sharia (Islamic) law to the Kingdom in south east Asia.
The new laws include stoning to death for those convicted of sodomy. Those convicted of abortions, adultery or rape will receive a public flogging and the amputation of hands and feet for convicted thieves.
Since the news broke celebrities and businesses have announced they would boycott Brunei owned businesses such as luxury hotels and the national airline.
Now, leading banks have joined the boycott. Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies and Nomura have removed 45 hotels globally owned by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah from a list of approved places to stay for all its employees.
Rich Handler, chief executive of Jeffries, told Financial News that the bank ‘supports human rights for all people regardless of race, religion, colour or sexual preference’.
Deutsche made the decision earlier in the month in support of LGBTI rights. Chief risk officer, Stuart Lewis said Deutsche had a ‘duty as a firm to take action against them’.
Dorchester hits back
Some of the hotels affected include the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, Paris’ Le Meurice and Hotel Plaza Athénée and Rome’s Hotel Eden. In the UK, multiple Dorcherster Collection hotels were affected.
On Saturday (6 April) hundreds of protesters gathered outside one of the Dorchesters in London to protest the new laws. But the Dorchester Collection who operates the hotels hit out against the boycotts.
‘We understand people’s anger and frustration but this is a political and religious issue that we don’t believe should be played out in our hotels and amongst our 3,630 employees,’ the Collection said in a statement.
‘We’re deeply saddened by what’s happening right now and the impact it is having on our employees, guests, partners and suppliers in particular. Our values are far removed from the politics of ownership.’