British Prime Minister Under Pressure Over Olympics

U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have both said their countries can do more for LGBT equality by participating in the Winter Olympics.

BY Lucas Grindley

August 18 2013 3:34 PM ET

David Cameron greets Vladimir Putin to Downing Street in 2012 with banners celebrating the London Olympics hung in the background.

Like President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed that his country will attend the Winter Olympics in Russia. But Cameron is facing push-back for his stance.

Activist Peter Tatchell's new campaign is called "Love Russia, Hate Homophobia" and The Guardian reports that a protest will be staged on September 3 nearby Cameron's doorstep at Downing Street just before the highly visible G20 summit, which President Vladimir Putin is still scheduled to host.

Protesters calling for solidarity with Russian LGBTs already gathered by the hundreds this month in London.

Now it's clear that Cameron is aware of the mounting political pressure. The Guardian and the Daily Mail report that the prime minister met privately with actor Stephen Fry at the Grapes pub in Limehouse after he called on his country to boycott.

In what is being described by The Guardian as a "highly unusual meeting," the two reportedly discussed Russia's antigay laws and whether Britain should take part in the Olympics. Fry has argued that participation ignores the laws at a critical moment akin to when the 1936 Olympics were held in Nazi Germany.

“I share your deep concern about the abuse of gay people in Russia,” Cameron wrote in response to the British comedian and activist. “However, I believe we can better challenge prejudice as we attend, rather than boycotting the Winter Olympics.”

The newspapers report that during the pub summit, Cameron and Fry discussed alternate ways that Britain could show its disapproval of the laws during the Olympics. Neither has commented publicly about the meeting.

Tags: Politics

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