Gay Rights Activists Plan Another Beverly Hills Hotel Protest

Will Thorne
Variety

Two years after protesters demonstrated outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, LGBTQ rights activists are planning fresh protests at the Sultan of Brunei’s property on Saturday.

The boycott is an effort to renew pressure on the Sultan of Brunei, whose Dorchester Collection of hotels includes the Beverly Hills and Bel Air Hotels as well as other properties around the world, and protest his implementation of Sharia law in Brunei.

Saturday’s protest is being lead by activist James Duke Mason, a member of West Hollywood’s Gay and Lesbian Advisory Board, who created a Facebook page for the event which is due to start at 3 p.m.

“The hotel’s powerful PR machine has tried to sell people on the idea that the boycott has “fizzled,” but let’s prove to them that we are stronger and more determined than ever,” Mason says on the event page. “Let’s be loud and clear about the fact that the BOYCOTT IS NOT OVER until the Sultan either sells the hotel or changes the law!”

Mason adds in the discussion section that California State Assembly member Richard Bloom and former California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez will be speaking at the event.

The Dorchester Collection has been coming under fire for the last few years, with boycotts and protests from actors and activists including Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres, Richard Branson, and John Legend. However, Dorchester Collection employees insist the company has nothing to do with the Sultan’s politics, and that a sustained protest would only endanger the livelihood of staff members on the properties where the protests take place.

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