Thomas Roberts, Openly Gay NBC Correspondent, Heading To Moscow To Cover Miss Universe Pageant

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The country of Russia might have an official anti-gay stance, but one openly gay news correspondent wants to go to the nation to cover an event and show that it’s OK to be gay.

MSN reports that NBC correspondent Thomas Roberts will go to Moscow next month to co-host the network’s coverage of the Miss Universe pageant. Roberts reportedly volunteered for the assignment, which, as MSN notes, appears to be a direct jab at Russia, a country that has been widely criticized for its anti-gay laws.

Roberts said he took the assignment "because it is a huge, visible opportunity for LGBT people," according to Politico, which reported that Roberts said he hoped he and his husband's presence in Russia would demonstrate that it was acceptable to be gay.

"I think it's a wonderful assignment, because this is going to be seen by a billion people in over 190 countries, and if they happen to find out that I'm gay and married and that my husband Patrick's going to be there with me -- fantastic," Roberts said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

The correspondent has publicly criticized what he describes as Russia's "homophobic laws" and the Miss Universe organization also voiced opposition to Russian laws, calling them "diametrically opposed to the core values" of Miss Universe.

Roberts recently wrote about why he’s going to Russia and in part of his column he stated, “All kids—Russian, American or otherwise—need hope. I am a happy, healthy, gainfully employed, educated and married man. And yes, I am gay. These new Russian laws won’t stop Russians from being born LGBT and growing up to identify as such. Russia’s treatment of its LGBT citizens is unacceptable, unrealistic and only promotes homophobia and intolerance for a community that does and will continue to exist.”

Sources: MSN, Politico, MSNBC