Brunei won't enforce death penalty for gay people in dramatic u-turn
Brunei will not be enforcing a death penalty for gay people following backlash over such a proposal, Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei confirmed in a speech.
Talk of punishment by death for gay people in the oil-rich nation sparked outrage, with a number of high-profile individuals, including Elton John and George Clooney, boycotting hotels owned by Brunei's billionaire head of state.
But it certainly isn't just in Brunei that gay people are discriminated against. Alaska Airlines came under fire after it was reported that a same-sex couple were bumped from their seats for a straight couple:
Earlier this year, the Tiny Dancer singer responded to the planned legislation on Twitter, writing, "I believe that love is love and being able to love as we choose is a basic human right. Wherever we go, my husband David and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect - as do each and every one of the millions of LGBTQ+ people around the world."
The archaic law would have entailed stoning people to death if convicted of having sex with someone of the same sex, while thieves would have their limbs removed.
"I am aware that there are many questions and misperceptions with regard to the implementation of the SPCO. However, we believe that once these have been cleared, the merit of the law will be evident," Brunei's Sultan said in a speech ahead of the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
"As evident for more than two decades, we have practiced a de facto moratorium on the execution of death penalty for cases under the common law. This will also be applied to cases under the SPCO which provides a wider scope for remission.
"Both the common law and the Syariah law aim to ensure peace and harmony of the country. They are also crucial in protecting the morality and decency of the country as well as the privacy of individuals."