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Brunei Implements New Anti-LGBTQ Penal Codes

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah salutes during the 34th National Day celebrations in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei February 24, 2018. Picture taken February 24, 2018. REUTERS/Ahim Rani

New criminal laws and harsh punishment for the LGBTQ community are going into effect in Brunei.

On Wednesday, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah announced that the new laws would help contribute to the growth of Islamic teachings throughout the south-east Asian nation— for Brunei’s population mostly consists of Muslims. However, the new laws seem to preach homophobia more than they do the need for more education.

Under the new penal laws, according to NPR, “the new Islamic laws impose death by stoning as a punishment for sex between men and adultery, as well as amputation of limbs for theft. Lesbian sex can carry a penalty of up to 10 years in jail.”

The laws apply to the Muslim community, but may also be applied to those individuals who identify with another religion. Still, many think the Sultan’s new penal laws are cruel and extremely old-fashioned for anyone found guilty. Within Brunei and internationally, there are people protesting the news. Over in America, Ellen DeGeneres and George Clooney are calling for a boycott of Brunei-owned hotels. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah happens to own many luxury hotels in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe. Some include the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air.

Others are just plain worried— especially those who are members of the LGBTQ community. One man says:

“You wake up and realize that your neighbors, your family or even that nice old lady that sell prawn fritters by the side of the road doesn’t think you’re human, or is okay with stoning.”

Despite the widespread criticism, Brunei is not budging on their decisions. Instead, they released a statement backing their stance.

Thoughts? How do you feel about the new penal laws in Brunei? Comment below.

And after, be sure to keep visiting Hypefresh for more LGBTQ news!

Image Credit: VICE

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