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The Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, whose country newly implemented a law punishing gay sex with death by stoning, has a 36-year-old elder son named Prince Azim who has partied with many LGBT+ celebs such as gay skiier Gus Kenworthy, trans conservative Caitlyn Jenner, and pro-LGBTQ pop-singer Mariah Carey.

Belinda Carlisle, who has an openly gay son, has also performed at Azim’s birthday.

Celebrities like Stephanie Beacham, Faye Dunaway, Joan Collins, Aaron Paul and Janet Jackson have all flocked to Azim’s parties with many taking very large celebrity attendance fees. While George Clooney,  Ellen Degeneres and many other celebrities are fronting the protest to this horrifically disgusting law, it begs the question on why Azim’s “so called friends” remain silent. Not just to save the lives of LGBT+ people in Brunei, but also to stand by Azim.

But not all have been silent. Some have had the coverage and guts to speak up about the situation; Blogger Perez Hilton recently claimed that Azim is a “big old homo” and “a big flamer,” but you should probably take that with a pinch of salt until we get better confirmation. In a video posted this week, blogger Perez Hilton claimed that Prince Azim is gay, but stopped short of offering specifics. Take a look at Hilton’s video below:

“Y’all know I don’t out people anymore,” he said. “I used to do that back in the day but I’m making an exception here. I’m guessing the Sultan of Brunei doesn’t know that his son, Prince Azim, is a big old homo. I would know because I have spent time with Prince Azim.”

I myself have personally spent time with Prince Azim of Brunei in attendance of events and have heard him proudly and openly talk about his homosexuality. It becomes extremely obvious, from his selection of friends, that he is a supporter of the LGBT+ community.

My personal beliefs are that a person’s sexuality should not define them and should not be the hottest topic in the press. However, given the circumstances, I do not think talking about Prince Azim in this manner is a negative thing. Prince Azim of Brunei is ten times the man the Sultan could ever think of becoming. He is courageous as well as brave, caring, fair, wise, strong and loving: Everything a royal should be.

It brings great upset that the Sultan Of Brunei (a person born into a position, not elected) is so cowardly, uneducated and stupid to introduce such a vile law; Cowardly to act out of fear, Uneducated to pass such a law, and stupid to introduce a law that will directly affect its countries economics.

The reaction in Brunei has been polarising: there are those strongly opposed to it, and others in reverent support. Those in support don’t seem to really know what they are supporting, at least not in a critical, analytical sense. I don’t think they are fully aware of the political, socio-cultural, and economic impacts these laws may present – or even worse, they don’t care. They are blinkered and feel they will be protected by God for being a more pious nation.

Sultans can abdicate. Sultans are just people, who can be deemed unfit to rule.  In 1967 Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien (Hassanal Bolkiah) abdicated due to political influence.  The Sultan exiled his own brother Prince Jefri Bolkiah, forcing him to sell many of his assets. The latter of whom would not have allowed this law to pass.

British Royals Meghan and Prince Harry’s have spoken out against the new laws and demanded a boycott of Brunei-owned hotels.

There are many family members in the Royal Palace of Brunei that would speak out against this law and, in my opinion, do a far better job of ruling – Royal members such as Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah,  Prince Abdul Muntaqim, Prince Muhammad Aiman, Prince Haji ‘Abdu’l ‘Azim,  Prince Abdul Malik , Abdul Mateen and Prince ‘Abdul Wakeel all who are far more suitable to rule the country (Personally I’m vouching for Azim or Mateen). The Sultan’s new law is evidence enough that he seems to be in the wrong state of mind to rule a country.

And as for people making laws on adultery (coming from a man who has three wives), maybe Azrinaz Mazhar Hakim, the sultan’s ex-wife, who had a super quiet divorce from the Sultan should have been involved in the process? The considerable hypocrisy from the Sultan is almost unfathomable.

As much as I applaud the efforts of the people boycotting the Sultan’s hotel, the press also needs to play their part to elevate the voices of the locals. For example The Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of India made more impact for the LGBT+ community once he was given platforms from people like Oprah Winfrey and News Channels.

So far, no-one has been stoned to death under the homophobic law, because the law has a “high burden of proof, requiring a confession, or at least four credible witnesses to a criminalised act, [meaning] it won’t be easy to prosecute. But unless the law can be revoked, it’s just a waiting game. Law’s like this also embolden homophobes into hunting queer people in the streets. And rise in suicide rates. No god would want this.

It’s a sad day for Brunei, not just for the LGBT+ community, but for half the population that are educated and against this law. And an even sadder day for many of the younger generations of the family, that are hanging their heads in shame.

For me, I am personally upset for Azim, not just because of how this law must be affecting him personally, but because he has always been a very supportive and generous person to those around him: they took the free flights, hotels, food, parties, and on many occasions, large amounts of cash for parties or movie funding. They flaunt their friendships on social media and the press – yet when he needs them to speak out for justice and equality, they don’t. This is what probably hurts the most.

In light of recent events, please sign the following petition asking the Commonwealth of Nations to expel Brunei.

Written by Matthew John.

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