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The LGBT Leader Who Refuses To Boycott The Sultan Of Brunei’s Death Sentence For Gays

Ruth-Hunt1Last month the Sultan of Brunei enacted a penal code reform that includes the stoning to death of homosexuals (along with those who rob, commit sodomy, insult the Koran or declare oneself to be a prophet), leading to a boycott of the Sultan’s international luxury hotel group Dorchester Collection.

This included some Hollywood outcry over the Beverly Hills Hotel, the iconic pink West L.A. institution. Ellen Degeneres, Jay Leno, Kim Kardashian, Stephen Fry, Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson and Sharon Osbourne are among those who’ve leant their voices to cry foul and pledge to spend their money elsewhere.

But acting Chief Executive of leading U.K.-based lesbian, gay and bisexual equality organization Stonewall Ruth Hunt sees things differently, and she’s taking a fair amount of flack for her opinions.

“At Stonewall we share the anger and fury of those calling for a boycott but we won’t be joining them. We are committed to achieving equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people – both here in Great Britain and abroad. We’re renowned for our pragmatism and our belief that talking is usually more effective than protests – however satisfying protests may be, in the short term they’re often most rewarding to the individuals taking part. We only implement actions that we can calculate will have an impact.”

Pragmatic? Perhaps. Inspiring? Definitely not.

Especially given Hunt’s next line of logic — that a boycott actually harms gay people in Brunei:

“I do, however, fear that the boycott could do very real harm to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people of Brunei. By turning the issue into a battle between gay people and the Sultan – which it isn’t, it affects everyone in Brunei, not just gay people – we limit the opportunity for dialogue and put the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people of Brunei at far greater risk. A group of people, I hasten to add, who’ve yet to publically call for a boycott.”

We’re not sure making excuses is exactly the best way to spark conversation, either. We’re all for calculating the best plan of action, but doing nothing doesn’t seem quite right either.

H/t: Pink News

By:           Dan Tracer
On:           May 16, 2014
Tagged:

  • 34 Comments
    • Stefano
      Stefano

      It is exactly the same logique for the Olympics at Sotchi. Probably she or someone she knows have monetary interest in Brunei.

      May 16, 2014 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lvng1tor
      Lvng1tor

      @Stefano: That was my first thought also. It’s that same logic GOProud employees…Let’s do nothing that may make it harder for us to have our oppressors maybe one day lick the scraps from their feast.

      All rights are really won by doing nothing against those who seek to oppress. Just lightly knock on their door and ask in a low polite submissive voice to please let us in. But only ask once otherwise they will think we are rude and never let us in…Maybe a fruit basket in advance….NOT

      May 16, 2014 at 3:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stefano
      Stefano

      @Lvng1tor : very funny ! “Maybe a fruit basket in advance”… Or J. Weirdo and his ‘husband with a buch of flowers and a card written : “From Russia with Love!” ?

      May 16, 2014 at 4:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jcrascal
      jcrascal

      While that is a lovely idea, Ruth, there are just a few problems with your logic system as I see it, not the least of which is, under Sharia law in effect, members of the LGBT community “publicly calling for a boycott” would be the equivalent of hanging huge bull’s eyes around their own necks, carrying signs that say “Here I Am, Stone Me Now!”

      A more realistic question would be, “What does the LGBT culture of Brunei WANT of us?” – if indeed such a culture exists. In our short-sighted Western way, we assume that there is some sort of equivalent community within theirs comparable to ours, which is not necessarily the case.

      Meanwhile, sticking it to the sultan and his bank account works for me, though I realize it hurts the local employees at the hotels. But what better way to get him to divest himself of losing investments? I cannot think of a thing. And I cannot imagine that trickle-down economics are in effect in Brunei anymore than elsewhere. Explain to me exactly HOW these boycotts negatively impact the citizens of Brunei?

      May 16, 2014 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lvng1tor
      Lvng1tor

      @Stefano: “With Love…but not that kind of Love. Just the Love of a man riding a throbbing stallion bareback and shirtless kind of macho Love….NoH0M0″

      May 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn
      fagburn

      ‘We’re all for calculating the best plan of action, but doing nothing doesn’t seem quite right either.’

      First, do no harm.

      May 16, 2014 at 4:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ouragannyc
      ouragannyc

      It is the same logic indeed.
      Perhaps she’s trying to be “original”, but dialogue re LGBT won’t go anywhere in Sharialand.

      May 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @fagburn: Is that your message to the Sultan? Or are you fine with the death penalty for gays?

      May 16, 2014 at 5:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mezaien
      Mezaien

      To the government of Israel, please exterminate all Muslims, and Christian in your country.

      May 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel-Reader
      Daniel-Reader

      The only discussion to be had is the punishment for governments that commit genocide against LGBTA people, since the global LGBTA community can enforce human rights by punishing government officials who violate them. Of course a minority is not speaking out inside a country that plans to murder them, which is why all of us outside the country have to ensure that government is no longer recognized by the LGBTA community and is punished for genocide.

      May 16, 2014 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fang
      Fang

      This is a good read for anyone interested in learning more about Brunei, LGBTs and women in Brunei and Sharia Law:

      “It’s clear that the Human Rights Campaign and other U.S. gay activists still haven’t learned the importance of alliances, a blindness doubly alarming when projected onto an international scale. The current fetish for fast results and clicktivism only feeds into this. A quick boycott threat might bring down a Firefox CEO in a few days, but political change across continents takes patience and persistence and hard work, not hashtags.”

      The article argues that Brunei’s Sharia isn’t an anti-gay law per se and that US gay organizations’ characterization of Sharia as such is misguided. The more imminent impact of the laws will be felt by women and that US gay organizations leading boycotts and protests are a trendy and superficial way to enact change.

      http://www.policymic.com/articles/89071/the-real-story-behind-brunei-s-sharia-laws-isn-t-the-one-that-gay-rights-groups-are-telling-you

      Lots of good points!

      May 16, 2014 at 6:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn
      fagburn

      @Fang: Hey dude!

      Don’t try and bring rational argument about the effectiveness of LGBT campaigning into this.

      Knee-jerk celebactivist self-publicity stunts and pointless consumer boycotts rool!

      x

      May 16, 2014 at 6:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn
      fagburn

      @Daniel-Reader: Genocide?

      Yeah, that’s happening.

      Why not go to Belsen and pee on it?

      May 16, 2014 at 6:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn
      fagburn

      @DarkZephyr The point is how you might actually achieve change anywhere.

      Rather than ill-thought out knee-jerk feel-good posturing.

      Here, I don’t think the Sultan of Brunei gives a felch about a Jay Leno photo-op.

      Just a thought…

      May 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • fagburn
      fagburn

      @Mezaien: Yes, this was a real post – and not made-up by some Michael Lucas fan.

      No sirree!

      May 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lvng1tor
      Lvng1tor

      @Fang: I read the article and can even agree to it on the surface. However, There is no harm in letting the public know and decide for themselves whether or not they want to spend their money at establishments owned by this man. While, “Sharia isn’t an anti-gay law per se…” it does include the ability to stone gays and has been used to do so. Are you saying that just because right now it’s a celebrity feeding frenzy for press that we shouldn’t care? Or, that since it’s more likely used to be used against women that gays should care less? I’m really asking you these questions. Where is the proof of harm in knowledge and letting people decide to support or not support? Sure right now it’s a lot about the bandwagon but it is getting the world to pay attn. Twitter is a valuable communication tool. Just because jagwads use it to self promote you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Doing nothing is certainly not going to get things done. What’s your option/opinion or do we do nothing and stay uninformed cause Jay Leno wants press?

      May 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lvng1tor
      Lvng1tor

      @Fang: Actually I reread it and he’s full of it.

      May 16, 2014 at 7:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      So again,

      There are MULTIPLE organizations and people supporting this, but instead Queerty scours the globe to find somebody outside of the U.S. to comment against the boycott of the American Hotel.

      Once again why does Queerty seem to run a lot of articles against gay rights?

      And now you can delete my post as you did to the multiple posts from multiple people pointing out the same thing in the Harvey Firestein post.

      May 16, 2014 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael mellor
      michael mellor

      Why is a woman in charge of a gay rights organization? Females generally don’t understand the special predicaments of men who are homosexuals. She should be kicked out.

      May 16, 2014 at 8:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DickieJohnson
      DickieJohnson

      @Mezaien: Do you have the tiresome comment set on “automatic reply”? Please, come up with something else, or totally S.T.F.U., to put it in your lingo.

      May 16, 2014 at 9:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billy Budd
      Billy Budd

      She is wrong and has either been corrupted or is just an idiot.

      May 16, 2014 at 11:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BigWoody
      BigWoody

      I don’t believe the boycott of the Sultan’s hotel chain is meant to harm him financially; it’s to make people aware of what is happening in Brunei. Would we have known about this issue without the boycott?

      Brunei gained its independence from Great Britain in 1984.
      The Sultan pays big bucks to keep a British military base with 1,000 men close to its oil fields.
      Brunei has had a long close history with the US Department of Defense and the CIA.
      The Sultanate is thought of as a corrupt puppet regime of the west by locals.
      See http://www.globalresearch.ca/brunei-is-americas-east-pacific-cash-cow-and-military-base/5353972

      Brunei is the fifth richest country in the world based on its oil and gas industry.
      Brunei Shell Petroleum (a monopoly) is a joint venture formed in 1922 with Royal Dutch Shell.
      Shell is the largest company in the world in terms of revenue.
      See http://royaldutchshellplc.com
      Shell has a high score of 85 out of 100 on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.
      Shell’s two largest shareholders are; Capital Research Global Investors, headquartered in Los Angeles; and BlackRock, based in New York City (whose political contributions favor democrats).
      Maybe we should be pressuring others in addition to the Sultan’s hotel chain.

      I find it disturbing that the US, Great Britain, Royal Dutch Shell, etc. have blinders on regarding Brunei. It seems as though they were hoping that this would become a non-issue. Maybe they thought no one would care about that little country on the other side of the world. What we should be aware of is the possibility of radical Muslim factors pushing for sharia law within Brunei’s moderate neighbors of Indonesia and Malaysia.

      May 17, 2014 at 1:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rangerboy
      Rangerboy

      Very naive…..feed the wolf the lamb, hoping it won’t attack the flock…..

      May 17, 2014 at 8:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stefano
      Stefano

      For intellectual masturbators who think that women rights are getting better and that LGBT organisations should learn from women movements, because, they have vastly richer histories of working consultatively and building coalitions across borders, should read this :

      http://web.archive.org/web/20040214095325/http://www.oneworld.org/ips2/jul98/16_02_060.html

      It reminds me a cote from Michel Audiard :
      « Deux intellectuels assis vont moins loin qu’une brute qui marche. »

      May 17, 2014 at 8:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stefano
      Stefano

      Sorry …you should read : For masturbating intellectuels…

      May 17, 2014 at 8:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stefano
      Stefano

      Sorry again…For masturbating intellectuals… And …a quote (not a cote). :-). Ah maudit clavier français.

      May 17, 2014 at 8:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • derp
      derp

      “Talking” is something that two at least somewhat reasonable parties can do when there’s even an iota of a chance that some sort of progress will be made.

      That’s not the case here. This extremist means to murder our people and anybody accused of being gay. That’s evil and there is no reasoning with evil.

      If all we can do, in the short term at least, is send a message with our money, that’s what needs to be done. The Sultan isn’t listening to us; he doesn’t care about us; we are specks of dust to him.

      A boycott may not grab his attention, but it’s got a better shot than just “talking” It also makes the LGBT community and our allies around the world aware of this awful situation.

      May 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jar
      jar

      Neville Chamberlain supports Ruth Hunt.

      This is a problem with a lot of organizations that claim to promote our rights. They are filled with over-privileged people working the non-profit and NGO sector for their comfortable existences. They are not activists, but arrivistes in search of a public profile and personal comfort.

      May 17, 2014 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lvng1tor
      Lvng1tor

      @jar: Well said.

      May 17, 2014 at 6:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sejjo
      sejjo

      @Mezaien: To whoever controls the weather (I’m looking at you God!), please strike this guy with lightning!

      May 17, 2014 at 9:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • toberlin
      toberlin

      know your enemy…
      I think there is a foreign policy tendency that the U.S. somtimes is doing too much and think too little and European Countries sometimes do too little and think too much.
      The Question is how to support the people in Brunei best?Easy Question ,difficulut answer.And in my opinion it is good and important to have several doors open.Just because Stonewall strikes another way does not mean the way of U.S people is totally wrong.And Stonewall is not the enemy.Like the political concerns in relation to the Iraq war were not anti-American.Because I share some expert opinon that the Sultan of Brunei in the face of dwindling resources tries to stabilize its power-position for the next generation.And I think when it comes to make an”example” people who are LGBT could be affected at first.I have neither the English nor the time to explain the whole political system of Brunei( how the Sultan keeps people quiet) or why muslim countries often have less democratic understanding ( NO “Age of Enlightenment”= Scharia is often accepted as legal basis)etc.,but I am pretty sure that Stonewall is not the ENEMY.

      May 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @toberlin:

      The funny thing, what happens after these rulers try to institute Sharia law to appease the religious clerics? Those clerics turn on them. Look at the problems that Saudi Arabia is having.

      The Sultan is trying to hold the tiger by the tail and is being foolish.

      May 19, 2014 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • toberlin
      toberlin

      Cam:
      :)I think we both know what happens when RELIGION is used as LEGAL BASIS.Things and Countries get out of Control.

      May 19, 2014 at 11:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • toberlin
      toberlin

      The Freedom of Religion is a basis of Democracy.But the separation of church and state as well.

      May 19, 2014 at 11:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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