While “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts is used to asking questions, the New York Post reported that Roberts recently found herself answering them when she made a Monday appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ show.
At one point during their conversation, Roberts recalled the time she interviewed former President Barack Obama and why it left her feeling afraid.
Roberts explained that the interview took place in 2012, a time when Obama was still publicly opposed to same-sex marriage.
Host worried about being outed
“There was a possibility that [he] would change his stance on marriage equality,” the television personality noted before adding that raising the issue could create a personal risk for her.
“I had not been public yet about being gay, and I was afraid that I might be outed, that people might wonder — ‘Why is she the one interviewing the president when he’s making this change in his stance?’” the Post quoted Roberts as saying.
However, Roberts said she ultimately decided that the value of interviewing Obama outweighed whatever concern she might have, remarking, “It was kind of like a scene out of ‘Moonstruck.’ [I thought] ‘Snap out of it; Robin, what are you thinking? It’s not about you,” the host remembered telling herself.
“This man is going to impact countless lives,’” she related. “And it was at that moment that I said, ‘I’m gonna stop letting fear keep me from the things that I want to do.'”
Roberts went on say that she was ultimately “so grateful” for getting an opportunity to interview the 44th president before publicly coming out as a lesbian.
Obama was accused of political cynicism on gay marriage
Obama did go on to change his stance on gay marriage and celebrated the Supreme Court determining it to be a constitutional right in 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges.
In 2010, New Republic executive editor Richard Just accused Obama of political cynicism regarding the issue since he claimed to oppose gay marriage and yet also opposed state constitutional measures like California’s Proposition 8 which were aimed at banning it.
“Obama has also said he favors civil unions rather than gay marriage because the question of where and how to apply the label ‘marriage’ is a religious one,” Just pointed out.
“This argument makes even less sense than his stance on state constitutions, since marriage, for better or for worse, is very much a government matter,” he added.