Thomas Roberts Hub

Athlete Ally's Hudson Taylor and AllOut's Andre Banks Talk 'Principle 6' with Thomas Roberts: VIDEO


Yesterday we reported on the collaboration between Athlete Ally, AllOut, and American Apparel on a new 'Principle 6' line of protest merchandise meant to draw attention to the plight of LGBT people during the Sochi Games in Russia.

The apparel, they argue, is a way to avoid the country's ban on 'gay propaganda' while at the same time expressing solidarity with those affected by oppressive anti-gay laws.

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...


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Donald Trump Still Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage, Claims to Be 'Evolving': VIDEO


Miss Universe host and MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts spoke to Donald Trump in an interview conducted prior to the Miss Universe pageant on Saturday, asking Trump why he chose to go to Moscow for the pageant.

Said Trump:

"When we did it we didn't know this was such a controversy. Perhaps we should have known but we didn't. And after we signed it became quite controversial....As you also know, we have a lot of gay people who work at Miss Universe, and we spoke to them, we said, ‘What do you think?’ And they said, ‘We want to go. We want to show our stuff.’ And I like that attitude.'"

Roberts also asked Trump about his views on marriage equality, which have not changed:

"Well, I think I’m evolving, and I think I’m a very fair person, but I have been for traditional marriage....I am for traditional marriage. I am for a marriage between a man and a woman. I've been that for, that's the way...can it change? I don't know. But my stance right now is traditional marriage."


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Thomas Roberts Speaks Out Against Russia's Anti-Gay Laws on Miss Universe Red Carpet: VIDEO


While last night's Miss Universe telecast did not, unfortunately, provide an opportunity for host Thomas Roberts to make any kind of statement about Russia's anti-gay laws from the stage, he did take a moment to do so on the red carpet.

Said Roberts to Russian state-run network RT: 

“I know the law is very vague and still hard to interpret for many people. But it is discrimination and that’s definitive. And I don’t think that the LGBT population in Russia or anywhere should be marginalized to that degree. We are not asking for special protection. We’re just asking for equal respect."


Roberts made headlines in mid-October by deciding to host the event. LGBT advocates were troubled that Roberts would choose to lead the pageant in light of the country's anti-gay laws, and because of the conservative views of the pageant's owner Donald Trump, who opposes gay marriage, among other things.

Said Roberts at the time: "I choose to offer my support of the LGBT community in Russia by going to Moscow and hosting this event as a journalist, an anchor and a man who happens to be gay. Let people see I am no different than anyone else."

Earlier this week, Roberts filed an interview with a Russian journalist who was fired after coming out of the closet on the air in August.

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Thomas Roberts Previews Miss Universe, Rips Anti-Gay Laws, Defends Hosting Gig: VIDEO


MSNBC and NBC have been bookending coverage of Thomas Roberts' trip to Russia to host the Miss Universe Pageant with discussion of Russia's anti-gay laws and Roberts' experience as an openly gay host there, perhaps in an effort to blunt criticism he has received for accepting the hosting gig at the Trump-owned pageant.

So far, there have been no major revelations in terms of the laws having an effect on Roberts on a personal level and he continues to acknowledge the "privileged" position he is in compared to that of Russian LGBT citizens and defend his decision to host the pageant in an interview on Yesterday, Roberts posted an interview with a Russian journalist, Anton Krasovsky, who was fired after he came out as gay on the air last August.

Roberts gave an interview to Savannah Guthrie on Today, and in a separate preview segment on MSNBC yesterday.

Watch both, AFTER THE JUMP...

Roberts also gave an interview to Agence France Presse blasting Russia's anti-gay laws:

"The Russian laws obviously are a dark time and a dark chapter in LGBT history here. They're seeking a solution to a problem that doesn't exist and meanwhile it causes new problems because it allows people to abuse and hurt and vilify the LGBT community under the guise of some propaganda law that's just ridiculous....These laws represent the fact that the government is seeking a solution for a problem that doesn't really exist. There really is no reason to demonise the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) population. In this atmosphere here we're seeing the problem with homophobia being condoned and these laws actually allowing people to be victimized."

He told AFP that he did not know if his sexual orientation would be mentioned during the Miss Universe broadcast:

"If it does (come up) -- great. If people and the viewers at home that are watching learn more about me and know that I'm married and my husband is here, I think that's fantastic. I don't know if I'm here to promote gay rights, I think I'm here to promote that people like me deserve equal rights, because we are no different than any one else."


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Thomas Roberts Interviews Journalist Fired After Coming Out as Gay in Russia: VIDEO


Thomas Roberts is in Russia for his hosting gig at the Miss Universe pageant later this week and has begun filing reports, his first with Anton Krasovsky, a Norwegian journalist who was fired last August after he came out as gay on live TV.

Roberts asked the emotional journalist about his motives for coming out and risking his livelihood:

"It's time to be open. I thought that it was my attempt to [reach out to] Russian gay people, to Russian people. To all Russian people. Because it's not about gay rights. It's about human rights."



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MSNBC's Thomas Roberts Asks People to 'Have a Little Faith' in Him

MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts gives an interview to The Advocate in which he asks people to have "a little more faith in me" regarding his decision to host the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

RobertsSays Roberts:

I consulted with the [Human Rights Campaign] and with GLAAD. I wanted to find out their take on what they thought about this decision by me. They are two organizations that I have done a great deal of work with and that have not only had my personal support but professional support. So a lot of counsel, a lot of advice, went into this. Certainly great LGBT activists, who are mentors of mine — I reached out to them as well. So, I am a little dismayed at some of the reaction that people have had, that have wanted to try to attack my personal and professional belief for what I'm standing up for, but I respect their right to do that. But I wish they would have a little more faith in me.

As for critics that say he's doing it for the money, he adds:

I mean, I show up to work every day, and we still work in a country where there are gay and lesbian people who can be fired every day at work. In 33 states you can be fired based on gender identity, 29 states they explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation; we have the Employment Non-Discrimination Act languishing in Washington, D.C., and has for decades.  So that's silly, that would be like telling all of these bloggers and reporters and everyone else, don't show up to work in the United States. And nobody boycotted last year, when Miss Universe was held in Las Vegas, and we hadn't had decisions on marriage equality by that point. And I think that we had just gotten out from "don't ask, don't tell," but nobody was asking for a boycott of that, so it's interesting to me. I find it very interesting that people would take this tone with me.

Read the full interview HERE.


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