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.
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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.
Ryan Molloy is a 20 year old student at Emmanuel College as a Major in Communications and Media Studies and pursuing a Minor in Writing. He is also a Staff Writer for Emmanuel’s newspaper, The Hub. He spends most of his time in the library and you’ll never see him without headphones in listening to music on full blast. Ryan hopes to pursue journalism upon graduation and hopefully be able to cover international events. Robert Kukla is a college senior pursuing a career in publishing and/or journalism. He takes pride in his nerdiness, some of his favorite things being Disney, Harry Potter and Star Wars. Ever since a young age Robert has always developed a passion for books and the written language. And it wasn’t until he enrolled back in school in 2017 that he realized his true potential and an even deeper passion for wanting to be a writer.