Openly gay MSNBC host Thomas Roberts writes on his blog at MSNBC.com that he’s co-hosting Miss Universe in Moscow because "it is a huge, visible opportunity for LGBT people. Everywhere."
Thomas is taking on the role after Andy Cohen, the regular co-host of the pageant, decided to boycott the event. As previously reported, a controversial anti-gay law was passed in Russia, leading to Cohen’s decision.
Roberts writes: "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.
"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."
He adds: "I go to prove there’s hope."