KCL reviews Sultan of Brunei honour over gay stoning law

Hotel Eden in Rome belongs to the Dorchester Collection owned by the Brunei Investment Agency

Amid global outcry, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah - who is also the country's prime minister - told an audience at a convention centre that Brunei was a "fair and happy" place.

"I want to see Islamic teachings in this country grow stronger", all-powerful Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said in a public address near the capital Bandar Seri Begawan.

Before the new legal regime commenced, homosexuality was illegal and punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment, but under the changes Brunei has become the first Asian country to make homosexuality punishable by death.

"All the condemnation and boycott calls internationally speak volumes - Brunei should just abandon these laws and continue to stick to moderate Islam". "Canada must stand with the United Nations and the many other countries around the world who have condemned this legislation and echo that this is a serious setback for human rights".

Celebrities including George Clooney, Ellen DeGeneres, and Elton John have called for a boycott of the country's interests. Hence, with non-Muslim males facing death or prison for marrying Muslim females in several nations ruled by Islamic Sharia law, then Brunei is following the tenets laid down by the Koran, the Hadiths, and Islamic Sharia law.

The newly enacted laws constitute the final parts of a penal code announced by the sultan in 2013, the first phase of which was enacted in 2014.

"Our hearts go out to the good, hardworking employees of properties owned by the Sultan of Brunei, many of whom we know to be gay", he said. "We already felt belittled before the law came to place", said a 23-year-old member of the LGBTQ community who wanted to be identified only as Kun out of fear of reprisal from the authorities.

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Despite his open opposition to Catholic teaching, he has still been allowed to receive Holy Communion at Catholic liturgy. A prominent pro-abortion Catholic politician is being accused of acting inappropriately toward women.

Transgender woman Zoella Zayce fled her native Brunei past year as the country shifted towards hardline Islam, and thinks more of the LGBT community will follow after the death penalty for gay sex was introduced.

Offences such as rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insult or defamation of the Prophet Muhammad will carry the maximum penalty of death.

Phil Robertson, Asia deputy director for Human Rights Watch, said: "This kind of law doesn't belong in the 21st century".

"LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Brunei", it reads, warning that the Shariah penal code applies regardless of a person's religion or nationality.

The tough penal code in the tiny country on tropical Borneo island, a Muslim-majority former British protectorate with a population of around 400,000, is fully coming into force following years of delays.

"Theory states that God's law is harsh and unfair, but God himself has said that his law is indeed fair", the sultan added.

In a statement Tuesday, US State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said that governments have an "obligation to ensure that all people, including LGBTI people, can freely enjoy the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms to which they are entitled".

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