Openly gay NBC correspondent Thomas Roberts is heading to Moscow this November to co-host the network’s coverage of the Miss Universe pageant. Roberts says he took the assignment “because it is a huge, visible opportunity for LGBT people.”

“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,”  the homo hunk said on Friday’s Morning Joe.

Russia, of course, has been making headlines this year for passing all sorts of antigay legislation, prohibiting everything from talking about being gay with minors, to banning gay people from adopting Russian children, to, most recently, a law that would have biological children of gay parents forcibly removed from their homes by the government.

NBC’s decision to send Roberts to is a move in direct contradiction to the country’s official, virulent anti-homosexual stance, though officials there say Roberts’ sexuality was only one factor in the assignment.

“We’ve considered Thomas Roberts as host in the past,” Doug Vaughan, NBC’s executive vice president of specials, told POLITICO in a statement. “Thomas approached us and expressed his interest in the job. Thomas is smart and very talented, and we jumped at the opportunity to have him join us in Russia.”

In a blog post, Roberts wrote: “Courage is contagious … We must be visible, we must show up, and, as Harvey Milk said, we must ‘give them hope.'”


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