MSNBC news anchor Thomas Roberts, who says he was the first cable news anchor to come out after making an appearance at a 2006 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association event, is about to become the first national cable news anchor married to a same-sex partner.
Roberts plans to marry his partner of 12 years, Patrick Abner of Merck Pharmaceuticals’ HIV/AIDS division, in late September in New York in front of 150 guests. Roberts, who was this year nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in Outstanding TV Journalism Segment for “Children of LGBT Parents,” spoke with The New York Observer about whether or not his marriage will affect his career.
“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. I think LGBT stories right now are newsmakers. So, no matter if you’re straight, gay or Martian, you’re going to be covering them. Because I am who I am, I can provide a different viewpoint, because people at home might know who I am or where I’ve come from—and that’s O.K.”
Roberts also commented on his thoughts about the LGBT community and allies taking a stand against Chick-fil-A’s anti-LGBT stance.
“They’ve been a longstanding company, I think since the 1950s, based in Georgia. I would love if we could figure out what they did for Loving v. Virginia back in the 1960s,” he said in reference to the landmark case that allowed interracial couples to be married. “I would venture a guess: I think I know what they would say. The great thing that I love about our country is that though we were founded on freedom of religion, most important and most overlooked is that we were founded on freedom from religion … I fully believe in traditional marriage. You want one, go get one.”
Roberts and Abner are eager for the next step in their relationship, “This time around, we feel very confident in the fact that we’re prepared, and people know it’s really happening …”
GLAAD congratulates Thomas and Patrick on their upcoming nuptials and wishes the couple all the best.