The Beverly Hills council has joined Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres in condemning the government of Southeast Asian sultanate Brunei, which owns the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel and has passed new laws targeting gays and woman.
Brunei's leader Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah introduced harsh anti-gay penalties last week that will eventually include death by stoning for homosexuality and adultery. The government owns the Beverly Hills hotel, which has seen the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Tom Cruise and Ozzy Osbourne and is a celebrated part of Los Angeles life.
The Beverly Hills City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night urging the government of Brunei to divest itself of the Beverly Hills Hotel and other properties in the area, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The council was divided, however, on whether to boycott the hotel, the BBC reports, which employs 600 people, and pays about $7 million in bed taxes and $4 million in city taxes annually.
“They won’t stop the implementation of the new laws,” Christopher Cowdray, the hotel group's chief executive said of the boycotts and protest but rather would “only hurt the [hotel’s] employees.” Cowdray added that Brunei had no plans to sell the hotels.