The small country of Brunei has made a big mistake.
The nation just implemented one of the world's most horrific policies against homosexuals. The new law requires anyone "guilty" of having same-sex sexual relationships to be stoned to death in accordance with strict Sharia law. Women who commit adultery will also suffer the same fate.
In protest to the archaic new legislation, people are looking for ways to protest against the dictator-like sultan. Stars like George Clooney, Ellen DeGeneres, Lance Bass, and others have called on people to boycott the country's state-owned chain of luxury hotels which include the famed Beverly Hills Hotel.
The Beverly Hills Hotel can cost more than $1,000. Meaning that very few of us could actually make a difference in any boycott targeting any hotel in the country's portfolio known as the Dorchester Collection. However, there is another way we can stand against this country's hateful new policy. Booking Holdings, the company that owns Kayak, Priceline, OpenTable Booking, Cheapflights and Rentalcars.com sells millions of people book billions of dollars worth of airplane tickets, rental cars, and hotel rooms each year. The company is a giant in the online travel space and helps everyday travelers search through thousands of airfares and hotel rates. Including those owned by Brunei.
In fact, both Royal Brunei Airlines and Dorchester Collection of hotels are available for booking through Booking Holdings' various online platforms.
Booking ranks as one of the top 300 employers for diversity in 2018 by Forbes. The company says that diversity is "one of their most cherished values." But allowing Brunei-owned companies to continue to sell through their platform doesn't align with that value.
In light of the new gay stoning law, STA Travel, the world's largest travel company for students and young people, has announced they will no longer sell flights via the Brunei government-owned airline. It's a bold move and will hit the country where it hurts most, in the pocketbook.
Booking Holdings should do the same. The repugnant new law puts people in the LGBTQ community at risk of a brutal death, just for sharing a beautiful moment with someone they love. We must do all we can to make Brunei reverse this terrible law, and that means pressuring companies that help the country profit.
Please stand against hate and violence, and tell Booking Holdings' president and CEO Glenn D. Fogel to drop all Brunei owned hotels and airlines from their platform.
Photo credit: United Nations Photo / Flickr