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15 May 2014updated 26 Sep 2015 8:46am

Influential magazine awards shun the Dorchester due to owner Sultan of Brunei’s anti-gay laws

The British Society of Magazine Editors has decided to change the venue of its annual prestigious awards ceremony from the Sultan of Brunei-owned Dorchester in a stand against new draconian legislation against same-sex and adulterous relationships.

By Media Mole

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei owns the Dorchester Collection, including the Dorchester hotel on Park Lane. The British Society of Magazine Editors was set to hold its annual awards ceremony at the hotel, but has decided to withdraw its agreement with the hotel in light of the Southeast Asian state’s new anti-gay laws.

Earlier this month, new draconian legislation was passed in Brunei that allows death-by-stoning for same-sex activity, adultery, and declaring yourself non-Muslim.

Here’s what the BSME said when it announced the decision to boycott the Dorchester:

The BSME committee had very much been looking forward to the event, which would have been the first time we had held the awards at The Dorchester. It has, however, been impossible for us to ignore the recent introduction of draconian new laws imposed by the Sultan of Brunei, the owner of The Dorchester Collection, relating to those involved in same sex or adulterous relationships. There has been much disquiet among the BSME committee regarding the news, to the extent that it was the clear majority view that we simply cannot, with a clear conscience, host an event that represents the magazine industry at the hotel. We have, therefore, taken the decision to withdraw from our agreement with The Dorchester.

The awards will be held instead at The Brewery on Chiswell Street on 17 November.

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