The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), which pulled its annual Global Women’s Rights Awards from the Beverly Hills Hotel — owned by the Sultan of Brunei — held a rally yesterday across from the hotel to urge the Sultan to rescind a new, Taliban-like penal code that includes the stoning to death of gay men and lesbians and the public flogging of women who have abortions.
Several groups participated at the rally, including the California Women’s Law Center, Equality California, Human Rights Campaign, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Services Center, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Mavis and Jay Leno, hosts of the FMF Global Women’s Rights Awards event, FMF Board Member and national organizer Delores Huerta, actor and activist Frances Fisher, FMF Executive Vice President and Executive Editor of Ms. magazine Katherine Spillar, and FMF President Eleanor Smeal, among others, also spoke at the rally, calling for the repeal of the horrific new penal code, which began part of its implementation last week.
“Every day the movement grows to demand that this Taliban-like penal code is rescinded,” said Smeal. “Advocates for LGBT and women’s rights are mobilized against this new Brunei penal code, and we are gratified that the Beverly Hills City Council has taken up a resolution condemning the law. People are outraged.”
“This new penal code is a clear violation of international law and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. We call on the United Nations to investigate whether Brunei should be allowed to keep its membership at the UN if the Sultan fails to rescind these inhumane laws,” continued Smeal.
The Brunei code is set to be implemented in three phases over three years. The first phase, which began on May 1, will include fines and prison sentences. The second phase includes corporal punishment such as amputations and flogging women who have abortions. The stoning to death of gay men and lesbians is slated for the third phase.
TAKE ACTION: Sign FMF’s petition calling on the government of Brunei to immediately rescind the new code and asking the United Nations to take action if these laws go into effect as planned!