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  • Deutsche Bank headquarters in Germany.

    Deutsche Bank headquarters in Germany. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Published 6 April 2019
Opinion

Several other entities, celebrities and other individuals across the globe have also joined the boycott of the BIA-owned luxury hotel brands.

Germany's multinational financial institution Deutsche Bank has expressed solidarity with the LGBTQ community Thursday, announcing that its employees will no longer stay at hotels owned by the Brunei Investment Agency's (BIA) Dorchester Collection group.

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Brunei's Death Penalty for Gay Sex a Human Rights Violation: UN

The Dorchester Collection consists of nine exclusive hotels in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States. The Deutsche Bank notably advocates for the LGBTQ community, even co-founding the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality - an association which promotes the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the business sector.

The bank's announcement follows Brunei's decision to make same-sex acts punishable by death as a part of a strict new penal code.

Several other entities, celebrities and other individuals across the globe have also joined the boycott of the BIA-owned luxury hotel brands, which includes the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air where many award shows and other high-profile events are held.  

Notably, actor George Clooney spoke out against the brand saying that “every single time we stay at or take meetings at or dine at any of these nine hotels we are putting money directly into the pockets of men who choose to stone and whip to death their own citizens for being gay or accused of adultery.”

Clooney highlighted that the boycott is not intended to effectively shame the repressive monarchy, “but you can shame the banks, the financiers and the institutions that do business with them and choose to look the other way.” 

TV talk show host Ellen Degeneres tweeted an image, to her 77.4 million followers, showing the names of all the hotels operated by BIA, urging others to "spread the word" and "rise up." 

A resolution has been proposed by three Los Angeles City Council members, asking residents to avoid staying at or hosting events at the California locations unless the law is repealed.

Similarly, boycotts were prompted when the repressive penal code was originally introduced by Sultan and Prime Minister of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, in 2014. While the implementation of each phase of the edict has been delayed due to an international backlash, the final phase of the three-part penal reform was announced late March.

The 2014 boycott was effective in the short-term, with many cancellations reported, but celebrity outrage eventually waned allowing the hotels to continued to operate and maintain exclusive clientele.

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