As your elected student officer team, we would like to extend our solidarity to all members of our student LGBT+ community, particularly LGBT+ students from Brunei, who may be affected by the news that Brunei will be imposing death by stoning as a punishment for homosexual sex and adultery.
Our LGBT+ community is a vital part of KCLSU. We are thus deeply concerned that continued relations between King’s and the Sultan of Brunei may lead to LGBT+ students feeling unsafe and unsupported at King’s, and contradict ongoing efforts at King’s to make LGBT+ students feel welcomed and supported during their time at King’s.
In 2014, KCLSU officers and KCLSU’s Student Council called on King’s to revoke the honorary degree which it had conferred on the Sultan of Brunei in 2011. A King’s spokesperson said at the time that this degree was awarded “for his lifelong commitment to higher education”. We believe that a commitment to higher education must include a commitment to higher education for all, including the LGBT+ community.
As elected student officers, we once again call on King’s to revoke the Sultan of Brunei’s honorary degree. The University of Aberdeen, which previously conferred an honorary degree on the Sultan of Brunei, has already announced that it will review the matter, and we hope that King’s will follow its example.
UPDATE: 04 April 2019
A King’s College London spokesperson has responded to say, "King's is very proud of its diverse community and in light of these developments, the Principal has raised urgent concerns with the university's Fellowships and Honorary Degrees Committee who will be reviewing the award made in 2011."
We call on the Fellowships and Honorary Degrees Committee will make the right choice by revoking the degree.
UPDATE: 05 April 2019
There is now a petition by Proudly King's on change.org that you can sign.