Jay Leno Joins Beverly Hills Protest Against Anti-Gay Sultan

Image: Jay Leno Joins Beverly Hills Protest Against Anti-Gay Sultan

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 08:55 PM

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A Beverly Hills hotel already under siege because of anti-homosexual laws passed by its owner, the Sultan of Brunei, encountered a batch of angry Angelenos at its doorstep on Tuesday — none more famous than recently retired "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno.

"Evil flourishes when good people do nothing, and that is pretty much what this is," Leno said at an afternoon rally against the Sultan of Brunei outside the fabled Beverly Hills Hotel, Variety reports.

The hotel and its parent company, the Dorchester Collection, are owned by Brunei's ruler, who is presiding over the rollout of Islam-inspired laws that call for death by stoning for adulterers and homosexuals.

News of the oil-rich Southeast Asian monarchy's revised criminal code have triggered a boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel — home of the legendary Polo Lounge — and another posh Los Angeles-area hotel, the Bel-Air.

Several high-profile organizations with longstanding ties to the Beverly Hills Hotel have canceled upcoming events and conferences in recent days. On Monday, the Motion Picture & Television Fund announced it was abandoning the hotel for next year's event.

Meanwhile, Leno joins a growing list of celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Osbourne and Richard Branson, in calling for a continued boycott, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"What year is this? 1814? Come on people, it's 2014," Leno, joined by his wife, Mavis, said before about four dozen protesters.

Christopher Cowdray, the hotel group's chief executive, told the Times the protests "won't stop the implementation of the new laws," but rather would "only hurt the [hotel's] employees."

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