Virgin founder and CEO Richard Branson today joined what's becoming a very large boycott against Dorchester Hotels, which are owned by the Sultan of Brunei, over his implementation of an anti-gay law which punishes homosexual acts with death by stoning.
The hotels include the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.
Said Branson in a tweet: "No @Virgin employee, nor our family, will stay at Dorchester Hotels until the Sultan abides by basic human rights"
HRC has also called on organizations to boycott the hotels:
Presently, the Aviva Family and Children’s Services, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, Cedars-Sinai Medical Hospital’s Helping Hand of Los Angeles, Colleagues Helpers in Philanthropic Services, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, the Independent School Alliance for Minority Affairs, the Partners in Care Foundation, and Teen Line in collaboration with Sony Pictures all have events scheduled at the Beverly Hills Hotel over the next month.
Said HRC's Chad Griffin:
“There are a number of hotels and venues in the Los Angeles area that aren’t owned by foreign leaders and governments that allow for the execution of its LGBT citizens. We’re encouraging members of the LGBT community and our allies to consider those options instead of the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air––which are part of the Sultan’s Dorchester Collection. In addition, we’re calling on organizations that have upcoming events scheduled at these hotels to move them to other locations.
Other high-profile figures and organizations boycotting the hotel chain are actor Stephen Fry, designers Peter Som and Brian Atwood , Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Osbourne, director William Friedkin, and the Outgiving conference.
“I have attended various events at both hotels over the past several years. But given the extreme nature of these developments, I feel strongly that we in the LGBT community and our allies should take our business elsewhere.”
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) May 3, 2014