IDAHOBiT marked in US, around the world

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Politicians and activists in the U.S. and around the world on Friday commemorated the annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement shortly before the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal civil rights laws, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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George Clooney stands by Brunei hotel boycott despite death penalty moratorium

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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George Clooney has pledged to continue boycotting hotels owned by Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah despite Brunei’s announcement that it has placed a moratorium on executions for same-sex sexual relations.

In March, Clooney called for a boycott of the nine international hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei including the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. Celebrities such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Elton John and Ellen DeGeneres echoed his call. J.P. Morgan, The Goldman Sachs Group and Bank of America also prohibited their employees from staying at the hotels.

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Brunei announces death penalty moratorium

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The government of Brunei on May 5 announced it has placed a moratorium on the death penalty in the country.

The New York Times reported Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah made the announcement against the backdrop of widespread international outrage over a provision of Brunei’s new penal code based on Shariah law that would impose the death penalty for anyone found guilty of consensual same-sex sexual relations.

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Brunei government again defends penal code

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The government of Brunei continues to defend the country’s new penal code that includes the death penalty for anyone found guilty of consensual same-sex sexual relations.

“We reaffirm that the Syariah criminal law system focuses more on prevention than punishment. Its aim is to educate, deter, rehabilitate and nurture rather than to punish,” wrote Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, the country’s minister of foreign affairs, in a letter it sent to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on April 7. “It seeks to strike the right balance between protecting the rights of the accused person and the rights of the victims and their families.”

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Bisexual Bruneian man speaks out against country’s new penal code

By : Michael K. Lavers Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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A bisexual man in Brunei on April 5 said his country’s new penal code that calls for the death penalty for anyone convicted of consensual same-sex sexual relations is “weaponizing religion.”

“Our religion is one of peace and one of tolerance,” he told the Washington Blade during a WhatsApp interview from Bandar Seri Begawan, the Bruneian capital. “I don’t see it as righteous or pious … it’s weaponizing religion.”

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Ellen DeGeneres, Billie Jean King support Brunei-owned hotel boycott

By : Mariah Cooper Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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More celebrities have expressed their support of George Clooney’s call to boycott hotels owned by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, in protest of the country’s new anti-gay stoning law.

Brunei’s Sharia law-based penal code took effect on April 3. People found guilty of adultery or gay sex can be punished with death by stoning. Punishment for lesbian sex is 100 lashes with a whip.

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George Clooney calls for boycott of Sultan Of Brunei’s hotels over anti-gay death law

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Actor George Clooney has called for a boycott of nine hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei in protest of Brunei’s new anti-gay stoning law.

Staring on April 3, a new law in Brunei will make gay sex punishable by stoning. In an op-ed for Deadline, Clooney urges the public not to patron The Dorchester (London), 45 Park Lane (London), Coworth Park (U.K.), The Beverly Hills Hotel (Beverly Hills), Hotel Bel-Air (Los Angeles), Le Meurice (Paris), Hotel Plaza Athenee (Paris), Hotel Eden (Rome) and Hotel Principe di Savoia (Milan).

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Brunei to begin punishing gay sex with death by stoning

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) | Amnesty International slammed Brunei on March 27 due to the nation’s plans to implement what the rights group called “vicious” Islamic criminal laws such as stoning to death for gay sex and amputation for theft.

Amnesty said in a statement that the new penalties, which also apply to children, are provided for in new sections under Brunei’s Sharia Penal Code and will come into effect April 3. The legal changes were announced in a discreet notice on the attorney general’s website, it said.

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Civil partnerships bill sparks debate in Thailand

By : Victor Maung OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Thailand could become the first country in Asia to endorse same-sex marriage after a bill that would allow same-sex unions was approved.

The country’s Cabinet approved the civil partnership bill on Dec. 25, which has sparked debate among members of the LGBTI community. The move is seen as a milestone in efforts to improve legal rights for the estimated 6 million LGBTI people — an estimated 8 percent of the country’s total population — who live in Thailand.

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Brunei embraces strict Islamic laws

By : Wire Report
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Bendar Seri Begawan, Brunei (AP) – Brunei on May 1 embraced a form of Islamic Shariah criminal law that includes harsh penalties for being gay, a move slammed by international rights group as a step backward for human rights.

The tiny Southeast Asian nation began phasing in a version of Shariah that allows for penalties such as amputation for theft and stoning for adultery and gay behavior. Most of the punishments can be applied to non-Muslims, who account for about one-third of the 440,000 people in the oil-rich country.

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