By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com September 05 2013 7:30 AM ET
British Prime Minister David Cameron plans to confront Vladimir Putin about his country's treatment of LGBT people during the upcoming G20 summit, according to news reports.
The Independent and The Guardian report today that Downing Street announced Cameron's plan just ahead of a protest led by activist Peter Tatchell in London. And the British foreign secretary, William Hague, was asked about it and told the Evening Standard:
“It is important to us. Britain cannot have a foreign policy without a conscience and I don’t believe it is ultimately in the nature of British people to act without a conscience. I wrote a book about William Wilberforce and the abolition of the slave trade, which was not in the self-interest of Britain, but was right.
“Britain is most comfortable with itself when we are saving lives, standing up for human rights overseas. So we should do that in conversation with Russia and other countries. It would say something terrible about Britain if we were reluctant to do that. We are one of the world’s oldest democracies. We are clear about our values. We must not retreat.”
The White House has also revealed plans for President Obama to meet with LGBT activists in Russia during the G20 summit. Both Obama and Cameron have refused to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, arguing that particiption could do more for LGBT equality than skipping the event.