MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) – British Prime Minister David Cameron met informally with actor and campaigner Stephen Fry last week to discuss gay rights in Russia and Britain’s participation in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper.
The meeting was brokered by British newspaper tycoon Yevgeny Lebedev, the son of former billionaire Alexander Lebedev, and took place in a pub in East London, The Guardian reported Sunday.
Fry, who has over 6 million followers on social networking site Twitter, wrote an open letter to Cameron on August 7 comparing Russia’s treatment of gay people to Nazi Germany’s treatment of the Jews, and called on Britain to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics.
The meeting between Fry and Cameron reportedly took place last Monday in a back room at the Grapes Pub in London, which is jointly owned by Yevgeny Lebedev, prominent gay British actor Ian McKellen and gay British theater director Sean Mathias.
Cameron and Fry discussed the issue of Britain’s participation in the Olympics, and Cameron – who has said he does not support a boycott – explained to Fry how Britain was planning to use its attendance to make the case for gay rights, according to a report in the Daily Mail newspaper Sunday.
Like his US counterpart President Barack Obama, Cameron has criticized Russia over its treatment of gay people, but has said Britain would be better served by taking part in the Olympic Games.
The meeting was dubbed by some British newspapers as the “gay rights pub summit.”
With less than six months before Russia is due to host the Winter Olympics, the country has faced a barrage of criticism from gay rights activists, celebrities and officials from around the world over a new law passed by the State Duma banning the “promotion of non-traditional relationships to minors.”
Critics say that the law amounts to a state-supported crackdown on gay people, while Russian officials maintain it is designed to protect children, and does not restrict the freedom of adults to make their own sexual choices.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Sunday that the promotion of homosexuality, alcohol and drugs could all have similarly harmful consequences for young people.