The Beverly Hills City Council voted 5-0 tonight to approve a resolution condemning the government of Brunei for its implementation of Islamic law.
“This resolution is calling for the government to change their laws or to divest themselves of the Beverly Hills Hotel to separate the fact that our iconic hotel is under their ownership,” said Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse.
An arm of the Brunei government owns the Dorchester Collection hotel chain, which includes the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced last week he would move ahead with implementing Shariah law, which could allow Brunei authorities to order death by stoning for some behavior, including homosexuality and adultery, and flogging and severing limbs for theft and other offenses.
“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.”
The resolution came in response to a call to boycott the hotel, which Bosse opposes.
On May 5, former late night talk show host Jay Leno lead a demonstration in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel protesting Brunei’s policy.
Celebrities, including Richard Branson, Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne, as well as human rights and LGBT groups have announced they are boycotting the chain, with some events already being moved.
Christopher Cowdray, CEO of the Dorchester Collection, said he respects the demonstrators right to protest, but that the chain is an autonomous company with a strict code of conduct that calls for equality and respect for everyone.
The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air are the only two Dorchester Collection properties in the United States. Dorchester Collection also owns hotel properties in England, France, Italy, and Switzerland.
Parimal M. Rohit contributed to this report.