Stephen Fry boycotts hotel over 'stone the gays' law

Stephen Fry is boycotting a Brunei-owned hotel.
Stephen Fry is boycotting a Brunei-owned hotel.

Stephen Fry has scrapped his reservations with a luxury Brunei-owned hotel chain after the country passed a law that made being homosexual punishable by stoning to death.

The Dorchester Collection, which is owned by the Sultan of Brunei, has been the subject of boycotts since the controversial change to the penal code was scheduled to come into effect on April 22.

The widespread boycotts started last week, when an LGBT philanthropist conference cancelled its bookings with the Collection's Beverly Hills Hotel.

Designers Peter Som and Brian Atwood vowed to move Fashion Week events, normally held at chain venues, out of the hotels for the foreseeable future.

Now, Fry has joined the boycott, by first removing his reservations with Coworth Park Hotel in Ascot.

"Cancelled in nick of time: discovered [Coworth Park] that I was booked into is part of the 'Dorchester Collection'," he tweeted.

A spokesperson for The Dorchester Collection has since responded to the pressure action, telling WWD: "We are sensitive to the fact that any such potential withdrawal of business directly impacts our employees, who represent the full diversity of society.

"We continue to abide by the laws of the countries we operate in and do not tolerate any form of discrimination of any kind.

"We are aware that many variations of Sharia law are practiced in many countries throughout the world and these countries have diverse business interests including fashion, hospitality and travel groups, media, entertainment, banking and many other sectors."

The effect of the "stone the gays" law has since been delayed. However, a Brunei official confirmed that the penal code will still be enforced "in the very near future".

Before then, being gay in the predominantly Muslim country came with a hefty 10-year prison sentence.

- Independent

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