British PM rules out Sochi boycott despite concern over anti-gay laws
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, left, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne Golf Resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland on Monday, June 17, 2013. (AP / Lefteris Pitarakis)
Published Saturday, August 10, 2013 8:09AM EDT
LONDON -- British Prime Minister David Cameron ruled out a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics, saying Saturday that attending the games is a better way of tackling prejudice against gays.
Cameron was responding to a letter from British actor and writer Stephen Fry, who called for the 2014 Winter Games to be taken away from Sochi because of a new Russian law that bans "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" and imposes fines on those holding gay pride rallies.
Fry's letter asked Cameron and International Olympic Committee executives not to give President Vladimir Putin "the approval of the civilized world" and called for an "absolute ban" on the Olympics being staged in Russia.
The British prime minister thanked Fry for his note, saying on Twitter that he shares Fry's "deep concern about the abuse of gay people in Russia."
"I believe we can better challenge prejudice as we attend, rather than boycotting the Winter Olympics," Cameron said.
Cameron's words echoed remarks made a day earlier by President Barack Obama, who said he was deeply offended by Russia's new law cracking down on gay rights activism but does not think it is "appropriate" to boycott the Olympics.