Los Angeles: Brunei on Wednesday introduced a slew of harsh sharia laws which included stoning a person to death if found guilty of committing adultery or gay sex and performing amputations as punishment for theft. The enactment of this new Islamic law in the tiny southeast Asian sultanate invited criticism on a global scale from politicians, celebrities, rights groups and the United Nations.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, officials and LGBTQ leaders in California joined a growing chorus of people calling for the boycott of Brunei-owned hotels in the Los Angeles area. The call to boycott came after the sultanate announced plans to implement the death penalty for gay sex and adultery.

“As a citywide elected official, I represent a diverse community of Angelenos, and I call on everyone to boycott the hotels owned by Brunei’s royal family,” said LA Controller Ron Galperin. He added, “I will not set foot in these establishments so long as they are owned and controlled by a regime that is willing to kill LGBTQ people.

These harsh laws were first announced in Brunei in 2013. However, the implementation was delayed due to opposition by rights groups, and because officials worked out the practical details. Karina Samala, chair of the Transgender Advisory Council said, “The city of Los Angeles and the United States and world should place severe sanctions on Brunei for taking LGBTQ rights back to the Stone Age.”

The new law stipulates the death penalty for a number of offences, including rape, adultery, sodomy, robbery and insulting or defaming the Prophet Mohammed. It also introduces public flogging as punishment for abortion, as well as amputation for theft, and criminalises exposing Muslim children to the beliefs and practices of any religion besides Islam.

British pop legend Elton John and American actor George Clooney have also called for a boycott of the hotels and other properties owned by the sultanate in Britain, France and Italy.

(With agency inputs)