The recent news that Brunei would stone
to death people convicted of gay relations has resulted in the
cancellation of a 4-day conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which
is owned by the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, who has ruled the
oil rich nation since 1967.
According to the Washington
Blade, organizers behind the May 1-4 OutGiving conference
have canceled plans to hold the event at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
“In light of the horrific anti-gay
policy approved by the Government of Brunei, Gill Action made the
decision earlier today to relocate its conference from the Beverly
Hills Hotel to another property,” Kirk Fordham, executive director
of Gill Action, which organizes the yearly event, told the paper.
“We are seeking a return of all deposits.”
Brunei's announcement that the law –
which also covers offenses such as rape and adultery – will take
effect on April 22 was criticized by the United Nations.
“The application of the death penalty
for such a broad range of offenses contravenes international law,”
said Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights.
Two-thirds of Brunei's population
practices a conservative form of Islam.
The OutGiving conference targets
wealthy individuals whose philanthropic giving leans towards
expanding LGBT rights. Attendees are discouraged from speaking
publicly about what is discussed during the event.