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Robin Roberts, Obama’s Marriage Equality Interviewer, Comes Out

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Amber Laign and Robin Roberts at the 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner. | COURTESY OF JENNIFER GOODSTEIN
Amber Laign and Robin Roberts at the 2010 White House Correspondents Dinner. | COURTESY OF JENNIFER GOODSTEIN

In a December 29 Facebook post, ABC “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts, who interviewed President Barack Obama in early 2012 when he decided to announce his support for marriage equality, came out as a lesbian.

“I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together,” Roberts wrote.

A day after the post, TMZ reported that Amber Laign is a San Francisco massage therapist who has been in a relationship with the 53-year-old anchor for a decade.

Roberts, who is a breast cancer survivor, underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2012 after a diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome.

In her Facebook post, Roberts referred to her recovery over the past year and a half.

“Flashback 12/29/12....Hard to believe this was 1 year ago today..when I reached a critical milestone of 100 days post transplant," she wrote. "Reading this comforts me and I hope the same for you: ‘If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.’ At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude. I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health. I am grateful for my sister, Sally-Ann, for being my donor and giving me the gift of life.”

President Barack Obama announced support for marriage equality during ABC "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts' interview with him on May 9, 2012. | PETE SOUZA/ THE WHITE HOUSE
President Barack Obama announced support for marriage equality during ABC "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts' interview with him on May 9, 2012. | PETE SOUZA/ THE WHITE HOUSE

In May 2012, prior to Roberts’ bone marrow treatment, the White House chose her to conduct the interview in which Obama said, “At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

The president spoke in unusually personal terms in explaining his thinking about marriage equality.

“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said.

According to TMZ, the relationship between Roberts and Laign was well-known to family, friends, and professional colleagues.

Updated 5:17 pm, July 20, 2018
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