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Richard Branson announces Virgin boycott of Brunei-owned hotels over ‘stone the gays’ law

  • Truth

    I love Richard Branson – always ready to stand-up for human rights. A great pity more big businesses are less prepared to do the same and can simply turn a blind eye to oppression and abuse. Well, I for one am taking notes and preparing my own ‘boycott’ list. The ONLY time these homophobic, imbecilic nations and individuals sit-up and take notice is when they receive a swift kick where it hurts… In the pocket. Together and with persistence, we really CAN bring an end to homophobia.

    • Ethan

      Websites like this make a difference. I found this site a few days ago & hearing your voices, reading your issues makes a big difference. I’m from California a pretty progressive place, & I have believed for a long time that homosexuals suffered from institutionalized economic & social discrimination through the tax code & family law even in the most progressive western countries. I don’t care what peoples personal opinions are on homosexuality but it isn’t right to have laws which hit people where it hurts most, in the family and in the wallet. Soon this will all get put right, but this whole throwing rocks at gay people till they die because God said so thing has to stop, right freaking now, it really pisses me off!

    • Steven Gregory

      What I like about Branson — good or bad — is that he follows his instincts, which are more often than not the right thing to do. Other businesses ponder and do studies.

      • natalie

        Thankfully he did on this issue. He doesn’t on all issues – he is currently “studying” whether or not the Virgin family should continue their support of marine parks (SeaWorld, Marineland, etc.) that keep whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity. Science supports lifespans are shorter and quality of life is poorer in captivity – to the extent that keeping cetaceans in these sensory-depriving, small tanks can bring out viciousness not found in the wild . . . see Blackfish documentary. He is an ocean elder and should know better. Nonetheless I commend his leadership on this issue and hope he continues the trend. &

    • Linda Harvey

      The concept of stoning a human being to death, for something which is quite rampant in some Islamic countries, exposes the barbaric punishments under Shariah. Women who fall pregnant before marriage and anyone who leaves Islam are also to be stoned to death. It’s bigger than homophobia, it’s taking entire countries back to the 7th century,to the time of Prophet Mohammad and it’s barbarism.

      • Ethan

        It’s interesting in Malaysia right next door, for the age group 50+ over 11% of the population is homosexual. As stated by some Bruneian’s on here they believe the “Malaysian” race to be the master race. I doubt San Fransisco is 11% homosexual, so the law is interesting, they have the highest rates of homosexuality on the planet and they consider themselves the best. If they think they are the best, then shouldn’t they also like homosexuality since they are the most gay population on the planet? Just sayin

  • Steve_R

    I made a very conscious choice to become a Virgin client because of Richard Branson and his stands on human rights. I am happier knowing he continues to be vocal in support of human rights demands and abuses.

    With regards to this law it is distresses me that as it is phased in “who and how will it effect” becomes more troubling. If previously people served a jail sentence, or are currently held in custody completing sentences will they ever be released? will their jail sentence become a death sentence without trial if they are still held in custody when the stoning part of the law is enacted? How many people will be rounded up to be stoned based on previous time served jail records.

    I am very happy to have seen public figures speak out on this issue… because political figures don’t appear to be doing so. Questions and resolutions to this issue need to be addressed because the when this law will challenge the very existence of people who both have to worry for their past… present… and future under this medieval law.

  • Psychologist

    Yes indeed – In my view, when someone like Richard Branson supports us, it seems only fair to support his company back. Virgin is definitely the company to receive services from. His commitment to human rights is an example which many other business leaders should consider following.
    This law is a very worrying situation – yet again, another religious believer abusing power and influence to pass laws to kill gay people, just for being gay !

  • Hue-Man

    Exerting pressure to stop the stone-the-gays law in Brunei brings world-wide attention to the issue. But why hasn’t the same action been taken against Saudi-owned properties? I can think of at least one luxury hotel chain that is owned by a Saudi corporation (and one of Bill Gates’s companies). What about other businesses owned by countries which are already executing gay men?

  • Brian Martenis

    Bravo Mr. Branson! Well done.

  • Rumbelow

    Thank you Richard

  • ragged clown

    Meanwhile, the heir to the British throne plays polo with the Sultan. Shame on you, Charles!

    • Chris in LA

      Exactly when was the last time they played? Was it after the announcement of the new new law?

      • ragged clown

        Doesn’t matter. Treatment of gays and many other groups was disgusting enough even before the new law.

        • Ethan

          I agree it was and is disgusting, but people mostly thought it was Saudi, Iran, and countries like the Sudan. We sort of thought it was old behavior that was going away, not spreading… It is a big deal because it’s getting worse and people are noticing and are fed up.

          • ragged clown


    • Jones

      May he never take the throne but pass it on to Wills and Kate.

  • Ethan

    F yeah! Right on! I do a lot of traveling, looks like I’m flying Virgin America! All class this guy :).

  • Marc Webster

    Bransons support for us is nothing new…..I worked for Virgin Megastores for over 20 years and it was always a gay friendly company…..I also remember in the middle 80s when Boy George was having his drug problems Branson offered to put him up in his mansion to help him….this latest move doesnt surprise me at all….well done Richard….lets hope it encourages others to do the same

  • Ben

    Yey Richard Branson, I’m so proud to be a Virgin Media customer. I’m so happy that he is standing up for this. Good for you Branson :)

  • JennaPowell

    I think its brilliant that Branson is taking this stand. If more businesses followed his example then things would soon change in a lot of places. However, when he says that no Virgin employee nor their family does he mean while doing business for Virgin or is he saying that even in their private lives that Virgin employees wont be using Brunei-owned hotels. Not sure how he can make the latter happen.

    • kane

      its obvious that that he means the situations where virgin group is paying

    • Obviously he has no influence over the decisions his own staff make in their private lives, but then I would think that most of Virgin staff on the kinds of salaries where they would be staying in such hotels would agree with him anyway.

  • James!

    I have always loved virgin. I used to fly on the worlds favorite in the 90’s and when the trolly dollies were by the plane door meeting and greeting we’d always be ignored. Virgin was upgrades nice checking staff and a good cross section of society. I’m moving my pension!

  • Jack le Critic

    Can we have a revolution and make this man our leader please?

  • Dr SMT

    I’m sure the Sultan is quaking in his gilt boots at this boycott. He probably couldn’t care less that a few celebrities are boycotting his hotels, he can afford not to care. The majority of people who stay at the Dorchester are very wealthy individuals, often from the Middle East, who again couldn’t care less about the laws in his sovereign nation. The only people who will suffer in any boycott will be the British employees of his hotels, when they lose their jobs.

    • saintlaw

      The Sultana and his supporters are quite fantastically sensitive to negative publicity though. So perhaps not “quaking in his boots” but he isn’t happy.

      And he’s going to get steadily unhappier when he grasps how widespread is the contempt the civilisation feels for him and his dunghole state.

    • “The majority of people who stay at the Dorchester are very wealthy individuals, often from the Middle East”

      Very wealthy, yes. Often from the Middle East? I have seen no evidence of that. These Hotels are used by tourists from all over the world, businesses in each country, celebrities, and for events held by groups with wealthy backers.

      These hotels couldn’t possibly remain viable solely on business from the Middle East. Therefore this is going to impact on his bottom line. He might be an obscenely wealthy man, and this might only be a small % of his overall income, but no decent person can just carry on giving him and his business money when he plans to murder people.

      As for their employees… would any decent person WANT to work for a man who thinks murder is acceptable in the name of religion? If I worked for any of these hotels I would have been looking for another job the moment this law was even suggested.

  • Gerry

    Is this the same Richard Branson that has the homophobic Brian Souter as a business partner?

  • Robert J Brown

    Kudos to Richard Branson – well done.

  • clive s

    Well done Mr.Branson!!

  • Isn’t it utterly depressing that we have a wealth of celebrities and business figures speaking out on this, but our royalty and politicians are COMPLETELY silent?

    And people wonder why trust and faith in the “lying classes” is at the lowest it’s possibly ever been.

    We have a Queen who actively seems to reject mentioning LGBT people in speeches on Human Rights, a royalty who socialize with some of the most hateful and despicable “leaders” and governments without batting an eyelid, and a bunch of politicians who only speak up on something when the public FORCES them to do it and a think tank warns them of potential fallout for not doing so.

    It seems, to me at least, that our “leaders” are totally spineless.

  • Daniel

    Excellent move on the part of Branson. Like him or loathe him, the man is principled.

  • respect

    Stoning does not apply if you are a homosexual. For your own sake, read up on your facts before you make yourself look like a fool on social media.

  • respect

    Before trying to “spread awareness” maybe you should actually get your facts straight. There is no “stoning of the gays” in Brunei even with the new Islamic law.

    • Ethan

      Here is what I found on the issue, the problem is that modern Islamic scholars and the Hadith call for death by stoning.'an,_Hadith_and_Scholars:Homosexuality#Hadith

      Can you link the law so we can see how Bruneian scholars interpret how this is to be punished? Seems the application of punishment is open to debate in the Hadith.

      We aren’t experts on Islamic Law here.

      • respect …read the blue box please.. Again i remind you this syariah law only applied to Bruneian muslim… Hope you understand and stop in against for brunei syariah law… Thank you

    • Ethan

      I found among most modern Islamic jurists that death is nearly the unanimous judgement, by sword, dropping from a cliff or wall, having a wall collapse on someone, being dropped from a wall, then stoned to death, and head cut off, then body burned. Seems stoning only happens if you’ve been killed by being dropped from a wall. So you are right, some research is in order to discover the specific manner killing if not by stone only.

      Would be interesting to see the form of punishment Brunei chooses, if you could link please.

  • dirtybird

    How is he going to force his company’s employees to participate in the boycott? It’s not like his employees have to file a travel itinerary with the company when they go on vacation. Under UK law, can he even fire employees for doing business with a 3rd party?

    It sounds like an empty threat to me.


    CNN dan media barat sekarang ni sibok mengancam Brunei sbb Undang Sharia. Mereka m

    In your countries you practice freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, etc. It’s in your constitution It’s your political system, your national identity, your rights, your way of life.
    In my country, we practice a Malay, Islamic, Monarchical system and we’re going to start practicing the laws of Islam, Sharia Law . Islam is in our constitution, our national identity, our rights, our way of life.
    We may find loopholes in your laws and justice system and you may have found ours, but this is our country. Just like you practice your right to be gay, etc. for this world you live in now, we practice our rights to be Muslims for this world and the Hereafter. This is an Islamic country practising Islamic law. Why don’t you worry about your kids being gunned down in schools, worry about your prisons being unable to accommodate convicts, worry about your high rate of crimes and DUIs, worry about your high suicide and abortion rate, worry about whatever it is that you should be worried about THERE. Many religions are against homosexuality, it’s nothing new. The moment you hear that Islam and Muslims making a stand and trying to reaffirm their faith, you judge, you boycott, you say that it’s wrong, it’s stupid, it’s barbaric. Again, go back to those worries that you should focus on I’ve mentioned earlier. Is it not wrong to legalize deadly weapons, is it not wrong to allow unborn babies to be killed, is it not wrong to allow a lifestyle that results in AIDS and discontinuation of the next generation?
    Why do you care so much what’s happening here in an Islamic nation when you didn’t even bat an eyelid about the Syrians, Bosnians, Rohingyas, Palestinians,etc. Thousands are being killed there and you don’t care, not one is killed here under this Sharia Law, and you make a big fuss, even when the citizens here who are directly affected by it, accepts it with peace. Punishments may be harsher but it does not mean it’s easier to be carried out. There are processes to go through before an actual conviction. We are fine with it, we are happy. BruneiUnited

  • Dave Brokenshire

    And yet they are still prepared to allow their airlines to be used foe the deportation of two little girls back to Nigeria to face the horrors of| FGM.

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