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Beverly Hills City Council condemns Brunei

The Beverly Hills City Council denounced the government of Brunei for its implementation of Islamic law Tuesday.
May 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Beverly Hills City Council denounced the government of Brunei for its implementation of Islamic law Tuesday and urged the sultan to sell the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse stopped short of calling for a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel as she introduced a resolution condemning the government of Brunei for imposing new laws that carry brutal penalties.

"These laws are shocking, inhumane and must be met with a strong statement of support," said Bosse.

Demonstrators say the city needs to take a stand.

"It's not a boycott of the greatness of the hotel. It's a boycott of the essence of the asset and what that means to further these crimes of inhumane fallacies," a demonstrator told the council.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah owns the Dorchester Collection, a hotel chain that includes the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Bel-Air Hotel. The sultan has announced he will implement shariah law, which allows authorities in his country to order death by stoning for behaviors including adultery and homosexuality, and amputation for crimes like theft and the public flogging of women who have abortions.

"They send a message around the world that in many places it is still considered acceptable to murder innocent gay and lesbian human beings," said Lorri Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.

Protestors demonstrated outside the Beverly Hills Hotel Monday. Employees of the iconic hotel packed the Beverly Hills City Council meeting Tuesday.

The CEO of the Dorchester Collection says a boycott will hurt 650 employees. Workers erupted in applause when Robbie Anderson, a great grandson of the woman who opened the hotel, spoke in their support.

"They work on tips, over $8 million is generated in tips for those over 700 employees," said Anderson, who opposes the boycott.

After hearing from numerous speakers, the Beverly Hills City Council voted 5-0 to pass the resolution. The city will also push for the hotel to be sold to a new owner.

"I'm hoping in the longer term we can affect change," Bosse said before the vote. "And the only way to affect change is to say we will not stand for this type of behavior and this type of treatment to human beings."

CNS contributed to this report.

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