MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts to become the first openly gay news anchor to marry
August 09, 2012
In September, Thomas Roberts, one of the lead anchors on MSNBC, will tie the knot with Patrick Abner, his partner of 12 years. The wedding will make him the first television news anchor to marry a same-sex spouse.
The outspoken anchor has covered LGBT issues for the past few years, critically questioning his guests and making it known that he is a proud member of the gay community. Sometimes because of this, he's faced criticism for lacking journalistic objectivity - he has a perspective, and he makes that perspective well-known to the viewers and to his guests.
Roberts says those complaints don't bother him - simply because he doesn't think there are two equally-correct sides to all issues. As a staunch supporter of the freedom to marry, he knows that banning marriage for same-sex couples or creating institutions that set up a hierarchy of first- and second-class marriages is wrong. It damages couples, it hurts families, and it creates communities full of discrimination. He told The New York Observer earlier this week:
I am not objective when it comes to equality. And that means for all. I want it for you, for me, for everybody. It's written in our Constitution: life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, and what's wrong with talking about that? Nothing.
Roberts is also one of the few openly gay news anchors on television. Rachel Maddow, of course, is an out lesbian who leads her own MSNBC program, The Rachel Maddow Show, and last month, CNN star Anderson Cooper revealed in a heartfelt editorial that he has been happily partnered for many years. The media representation that anchors like Maddow, Cooper and Roberts bring to TV is an important way to demonstrate that gay and lesbian people are normal, participating members of our national community, and they deserve the same protections for their relationships that different-sex married people do.
Freedom to Marry congratulates Roberts and Abner on their wedding and wishes them well in the final planning stages of the celebration!