In a Positive News, Brunei Will Not Enforce Death Penalty for Gay Sex

In response to the global backlash and pressure, Brunei has backtracked on the draconian laws against adultery and gay sex that included stoning to death.

Earlier in April 2019, the South East Asian nation that is rich in oil had rolled out extremely strict laws for those convicted of gay sex, adultery, and rape. Under these oppressive laws, rape, and adultery can lead to a maximum of the death penalty. Lesbian sex carries a penalty of 10 years in prison and/or 40 strokes of the cane.

However, post the announcement, there was a global outrage, which included protests by celebrities and boycotts of hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Celebrities such as George Clooney and Elton John called for the boycott of hotels such as the Beverley Hills Hotel in Los Angeles and the Dorchester in London that have links with Brunei. Also, organizations such as Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan instructed their staff members to avoid using hotels that were owned by the nation.

Earlier, the United Nations had also condemned these laws, warning the nation that these laws were against the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a convention that Brunei has ratified.

Following this intense backlash, the country’s ruler – Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah – announced that he would extend a moratorium on capital punishment and ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture. It was the very first time that the ruler spoke publicly about the legislation after it was introduced.

This is certainly good news for the gay and lesbian community in Brunei. What do you think about this news?

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