Obama urged to stop Brunei trade talks over anti-gay laws

sULTANBarack Obama has been urged by a number of US law-makers and LGBT activist groups to stop trade talks with Brunei over the country's anti-gay laws. In April, the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah made anal sex punishable with death by stoning, alongside other offences like rape, adultery, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims. Over 100 members of the House of Representatives have now signed an official letter asking US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Trade Representative Michael Froman to halt any form of trade with Brunei until the country's anti-gay laws are repealed. "It would be inconsistent with US human rights policy to enter into a preferential trade agreement with a nation that so vagrantly violates the human rights of its citizens," says the letter. Meanwhile, a number of high-profile celebrities including Richard Branson, Sharon Osbourne and Vogue editor Anna Wintour have publicly boycotted the the Sultan's hotel chain in protest against the law. Actress Rose McGowan recently held a "gay-in" at one of the establishments he owns, The Beverley Hills Hotel, as her own form of protest - read the full story here.