Thomas Roberts Hub




Gay MSNBC Anchor Thomas Roberts to Host 'Miss Universe' in Moscow: 'Let People See I am No Different...'

MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts is going to host the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in November, and explains why he "aggressively went after" the job when it came up, in an op-ed on the MSNBC website: "because it is a huge, visible opportunity for LGBT people.  Everywhere."

Writes Roberts, in part: Roberts

Over the last several months Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved new homophobic laws for his country. Yes, laws that criminalize and stigmatize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in Russia.

These actions attracted worldwide news coverage with some critics labeling it: Russia’s dark chapter in the history of gay rights. World leaders have expressed their contempt for these discriminatory laws with President Barack Obama declaring that “nobody’s more offended than me.”

In August, the Miss Universe Organization issued its own statement that Russian laws are “diametrically opposed to the core values” of Miss Universe.

I too am diametrically opposed to these laws and share in the President’s outrage. I am unafraid to say I am proud of my husband and my family—I’m proud of their love for me. I’m proud of the incredible steps forward equality has taken this year.

I’m proud of our nation, which still aspires to live up to the promise of its founding fathers. I am unafraid to tell you how traditional my husband and I are. After thirteen years, we continue to foster and grow our life together, with highs and lows, the folly and the fights. The same things many long term couples experience. Simple things: Trash night, dog walks, the remote control. Tough things: Homophobia, job loss, death.

You can’t get more traditional than that and, above all, we love each other.

So people may wonder: “Thomas, how can you accept this assignment? Shouldn’t you boycott Russia?” I am not going to boycott. Boycotting and vilifying from the outside is too easy. Rather, 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.

Read Roberts' entire post HERE.

ADDENDUM:

As Towleroad reported in August, Bravo executive and Watch What Happens Live! host Andy Cohen turned down the hosting gig because '[Russia's] discriminatory policies make it unsafe for the gays who live there and gays coming to work or visit...The law is that anyone under suspicion of homosexuality can be arrested'...adding that he 'didn't feel right as a gay man stepping foot into Russia.'"

It's unclear what kind of statement Roberts will make at the pageant to assert the statements he has made in his op-ed, though as a news anchor on MSNBC he has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights.

Elton John recently announced he would play two concerts in Russia  because, "As a gay man, I can't leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don't know what's going to happen, but I've got to go."

He later said that he would not speak out against the government from the stage but preferred to meet with Russian leaders.


MSNBC's Thomas Roberts Grills RNC Chair Reince Priebus About Shutdown, Obamacare: VIDEO

Priebus

Thomas Roberts got into it today with RNC Chair Reince Priebus over the shutdown and House GOP demands on Obamacare.

“Have you been watching the news?” he said, referencing glitches consumers have experienced in trying to access online exchanges. “At the very least, at this very moment, Obamacare’s not ready for prime time.”

When asked by host Thomas Roberts to explain House Republicans’ unwillingness to pass a clean continuing resolution bill without ties to delays in Obamacare, Priebus blamed the president for refusing to negotiate, before turning the crosshairs on his interviewer.

“It sounds like I’m debating the chair of the DNC,” Priebus said to Roberts. Priebus also advised Roberts to watch Schoolhouse Rock for lessons on how a bill becomes law.

“So we have to capitulate to whatever the president wants?” asked Priebus.

“No, you have to govern,” said Roberts.

Asks Roberts, later: "Is this really what the Tea Party conservatives have wanted all along is to demonstrate the power that they have on being able to 'choke out' the American people?"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "MSNBC's Thomas Roberts Grills RNC Chair Reince Priebus About Shutdown, Obamacare: VIDEO" »


RNC Leaders Congratulated Thomas Roberts On His Marriage: VIDEO

Thom

Out MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts joined Joe Scarborough oh his "Morning Joe" talk-show today. Amidst discussion of the Republican National Committee's continued opposition to same-sex marriage in the party platform, Roberts discussed his own personal experience with the Republican leadership that seemed to him at odds with their publicly stated political beliefs:

"Reince Priebus, when I got engaged, congratulated me at the White House Correspondents' weekend. Last year, Sean Spicer congratulated me on getting married to my husband. Yet they incorporate into the platform of the RNC their stance against marriage equality," Roberts said.

"It's odd, because why congratulate me? I didn't bring it up, I didn't say give me a congratulations, but they offered it," Roberts said. "So it's odd, because then they'll go out and drumbeat that they're against marriage equality. It's weird."

In an email to Politico RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer clarified his position:

"Believing marriage is between one man and one woman and being polite, courteous and respectful are not mutually exclusive."

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP...

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Thomas Roberts Interviews PA Mayor John Fetterman, Who Married Gay Couple This Week: VIDEO

Fetterman

MSNBC's Thomas Roberts spoke with Braddock, Pennsylvania Mayor John Fetterman, who this week defied the state's ban on same-sex marriage and married his constituents John Kandray and Bill Gray:

“It’s an act of civil disobedience,” said Fetterman on MSNBC Thursday. The message to Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, he said, referencing President Reagan’s iconic challenge to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, is:  “Mr. Corbett, tear down this law.”

...

“The legality of it really doesn’t concern me,” said Fetterman, in reference to the fact that neither the state, nor the federal government currently recognizes the marriage he performed on Monday. “I think it’s the message that it sends. And I think Pennsylvania is at a place now where we need to remove this from our constitution.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Ben Cohen, Hudson Taylor, and Cyd Zeigler Talk to Thomas Roberts About Gays, Russia, and Sochi: VIDEO

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Rugby star and LGBT ally Ben Cohen, Outsports' Cyd Zeigler, and Athlete Ally's Hudson Taylor joined Thomas Roberts on MSNBC this morning to talk about the rising outrage over Russia's anti-gay laws, the Sochi 2014 Games in that country, and how athletes and allies should respond.

Check out the segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Thomas Roberts Blasts Systemic Hate and Discrimination in America: VIDEO

Roberts_perry

Thomas Roberts, during a panel on the Zimmerman verdict, urged MSNBC to adopt an "I am other" agenda in a powerful statement about systemic discrimination and hate in the U.S.

Said Roberts (via Mediaite)

Don’t we need to do more about our social contract with each other in this country when it comes to being others? Because, as we look at this, we can use this as a great pivot point to talk about race relations in this country.

But, being an “other,” whether it’s LGBT, because you’re suspected of being a pedophile and a rabid disease carrier.

And if you are a woman, well you don’t have a right to your own body and your own reproductive health, because if you do you’re a slut that wants to sleep around and use abortion as birth control.

And then, if you’re Hispanic, you want to lay off the land and have anchor babies and you just want to lay off the land.

Isn’t that the — and I want to challenge this network: we had to have an “I am other” agenda and have a forum for it, because others need to unite to talk about this and figure out where we are going as a country.

The social contract that we have currently negotiated that is so wrong and how this is happening in a country where we have this huge group of people that– it’s supposed to be a melting pot but we treat each other with such disdain it’s not each funny.

Roberts' speech was greeted with an "amen" by the other panelists.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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