Anderson Cooper recently and officially came out as gay this summer, causing a media stir about his forthrightness. Another news anchor, who once worked on CNN, Thomas Roberts, came out back in 2006 and was almost simultaneously cut from CNN. Roberts has consistently maintained that he was not cut from CNN for coming out, just “ill timing,” he told the Observer. The news anchor who now works for MSNBC has also announced that he plans to marry his partner of 12 years, Patrick Abner.
Roberts has taken a staunchly different approach to his identity as a gay news anchor than former co-worker Anderson Cooper. While Cooper often attempts to maintain an unbiased viewpoint of stories, Roberts believes his view on gay rights and his push for equality gives him fresh insight into important stories that affect the LGBT community.
Roberts has a vivid view on the anti-gay marriage debate that has been raging across the country for many years now. Queerty quotes the charming news anchor on the issue of marriage rights in the lead-up to his still rather private nuptial plans:
If they really wanted to be the national organization for marriage, they would be the National Organization Against Divorce… And they would put all the money that they waste, trying to thwart marriage equality, into trying to reassure heterosexual and gay couples around this country that divorce is the only evil to marriage. Thatís the biggest threat to it, is divorce.
Although Queerty pokes fun at the news anchor for his preparations for the wedding (drinking Red Bulls and running on the treadmill) which will take place in Manhattan with 150 guests, Roberts sounds happy and also supportive of Anderson Cooper’s recent coming out. He applauded Cooper’s ability to have “personal-professional synergy” after the announcement.
Roberts had hoped to marry in Los Angeles while he was living there but the tumultuous overturning of Proposition 8 prevented the well-known couple from wedding. Now they are happy to have the chance to say their vows in front of family and friends, although Roberts declines to be a role model for others wanting to marry. As he told the Observer, “I am a reluctant role model because I will fail.”
The marriage, which does not have a set date yet, is a happy moment in LGBT news after a few weeks of uproar over Chick-fil-A’s anti-gay stance and the accompanying protests that have occurred across the country at the fast food chain. It has also been a tense time for gay rights across the world, including a recent raid and physical evaluation of men arrested at a gay porn theater in Lebanon as well as the attack of a Nebraska woman in her own home for being a lesbian.
Photo Credit: Giovanni Dall'Orto