By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com November 06 2013 1:38 PM ET
Thomas Roberts made good on his promise to report on the anti-LGBT climate in Russia while the out MSNBC anchor is in Moscow to host Saturday's Miss Universe Pageant, filing his first report on Russian soil this morning — just 14 hours after he arrived.
Roberts told The Advocate last month that he plans to use his network's platform to shine a light on the violent oppression of LGBT people in Russia under President Vladimir Putin's recently enacted nationwide ban on "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships" visible to minors.
And with a report filed from a city square in Moscow, the gay anchor dove into the consequences of Russia's draconian law with a one-on-one interview with Anton Krasovsky, a former popular news anchor on a Kremlin-approved TV station who was fired earlier this year after he came out as gay on the air.
Roberts reports that it's "taboo" to discuss the nationwide anti-LGBT laws on Russian soil or to even mention that the laws create a second-class citizenship status for LGBT Russians. Nevertheless, MSNBC's footage shows Roberts and Krasovsky walking together through Moscow, the Russian capital city, which Krasovsky says he's unwilling to leave despite the very real threat to his safety, compounded by his unemployment.
"Now it's time to be open," Krasovsky told Roberts. "I thought that it was my attempt to [speak to] Russian gay people. To all Russian people. Because it's not about gay rights, it's about human rights."
Watch Roberts's first report below, and follow his continued coverage under the Twitter hashtag #RobertsInRussia and on his show's page on MSNBC.