The A&E Network, which airs the popular reality show, briefly suspended Robertson for his statements, touching off a backlash that showed widespread sympathy, if not outright support, for his views.
Now comes Roberts, an equally high-profile personality; she’s News Anchor on ABC’s top-rated morning show “Good Morning America.” Roberts has been waging a very public battle against a rare blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome.
Her “thank you” note to friends and family for their support came on the 100th day following a bone marrow transplant from her sister. Among those she thanked was her “long time girlfriend, Amber.”
She did not provide a last name, but People magazine outed her as Amber Laign, a licensed massage therapist from San Francisco. They met through mutual friends a decade ago, according to the magazine.
“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,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
“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’ touching and heart-felt thank you is a stark counterpoint to Robertson’s view of homosexuality, which he equated to bestiality and most of the nation’s other social ills in a recent magazine interview and in speeches over the past few years to church groups.
“Women with women, men with men. They committed indecent acts upon one another. And they’ve received in themselves the due penalty for their perversions,” he said in a 2010 speech posted on YouTube by a church group.
“They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless; they invent ways of doing evil,” he said in the fiery speech.
That hardly sounds like Roberts, who is both African American and gay.
Whether her coming out blunts some of the anti-gay hysteria whipped up by Robertson remains to be seen, but Roberts puts a very human face on those the Duck Dynasty patriarch has so righteously condemned.