Brunei has introduced a series of hardline anti-LGBT laws that have been described as "medieval".
The new Islamic laws, which come into force today (Wednesday 3 April) and predominantly apply to Muslims in the country, include a punishment of death by stoning for gay sex between two men.
Sex between two females is also illegal, the BBC reports, with the punishment for that 'crime' being 40 strokes of the cane and/or up to 10 years in prison.
The new penal code also covers severe sanctions for misdemeanours committed by those outside of the LGBT community. Rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims, robbery, and insult or defamation of the Prophet Mohammad are also now punishable by death. Women who have an abortion will face public flogging (being whipped of caned in a public arena) as their retribution.
The United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has called on the small south-east Asian nation to stop the introduction of the violent new punishment system, which she notes "seriously breaches international human rights law".
In a statement, Bachelet said: "I appeal to the Government to stop the entry into force of this draconian new penal code, which would mark a serious setback for human rights protections for the people of Brunei if implemented."
In response to the announcement of the new laws, Ellen DeGeneres said, "we need to do something now", and encouraged people to "rise up" against the harsh demonstration of homophobia.
The TV presenter, along with the likes of George Clooney and Elton John, has requested that people boycott a series of luxury hotels around the world including The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London, which are owned by the Sultan of Brunei.
Tomorrow, the country of #Brunei will start stoning gay people to death. We need to do something now. Please boycott these hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. Raise your voices now. Spread the word. Rise up. pic.twitter.com/24KJsemPGH— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 2, 2019
Homosexuality was already illegal in Brunei, holding a punishment of up to 10 years in prison.