In Brunei, being gay is one of many things that has been illegal in the country for some time but the government recently took this to the next level. They made homosexuality punishable by stoning to death, not only did they pass this law but others that are very similar to it. This is in part due to the countries push towards complete Sharia Law in the small southeast nation of more than 450,000 people.
Photo: Bill Oxford on Unsplash
This push towards Sharia Law was first announced back in
2013 by the nations ruler, Hassanal Bolkiah
. These laws not only affect the people of Brunei directly but also its children and foreigners who visit the country that are non-Muslim. Before these laws were passed it was originally illegal to be gay in Brunei but the punishment was only prison time. Now, those who are gay can be punished by death and not only people who are gay are suffering from these new laws.
This legislation that calls for death by stoning also targets those who are rapists, adulterers, those who have extramarital sex and insulting the Prophet Muhammed. Countries around the world have condemned these legislations being passed and are stating that
these laws strictly breach international human rights laws.
This would be a massive step in a different direction for the country considering it has not had an
execution carried out since 1957.
Some of the laws that were passed are only strictly enforced with those who are only Muslim such as extramarital sex. While being gay is now punishable by death in Brunei, this is only in regards to men. Lesbian sex was previously punishable by prison time or a fine but that has now
changed to 40 lashes.
Across the world, celebrities have called to boycott hotels that are owned by the leader of Brunei. Among the celebrities responsible for calling the boycott are
George Clooney and Ellen Degeneres.
These hotels that are being boycotted are all over the world.