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Good Morning America's Sam Champion comes out by announcing engagement to boyfriend



sam-champion.jpgRemember the days when stars like Ellen De Generes and Rosie O'Donnell were actually coy about publically acknowledging they were gay?

It is an amazing, gratifying sign of the times that those days seems long gone, following recent news that two high-profile male news anchors are marrying their boyfriends, seemingly free from concern that coming out would harm their careers.

The latest example is Good Morning America weather forecaster Sam Champion, who was featured in a brief press release distributed by ABC noting that he was engaged to boyfriend Rubem Robierb, a fine arts photographer.

thomasroberts1.jpgThe press release came as Champion and Robierb were quoted about their marriage plans in a New York Times story today about the wedding of MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts and his partner, Patrick Abner.

The release, accompanied by the picture above, read as follows:  "GMA weather anchor Sam Champion and boyfriend Rubem Robierb are engaged to be married. “We are thrilled and so excited and thank everyone for their good wishes,” says Champion.

Champion and Robierb met through mutual friends a few years ago in Miami, where Robierb lives. Born in Brazil, Robierb is a fine-arts photographer who shows his work in Miami, Atlanta, Santa Monica and New York.

The two plan to wed later this year."

anderson.cooper.jpgIn fact, such announcements have sparked such an audience reaction that Star Jones, former co-host on The View, accused CNN anchor Anderson Cooper of courting publicity when sent an email to columnist Andrew Sullivan admitting he was gay. Cooper got so incensed he went off on Jones during his daytime show this week, recalling how she turned her wedding into a publicity stunt while she was on The View.

(Star Jones responded by tweeting: "I was wrong. didn't come out as a ratings ploy. He used ME talking about him coming out as a ratings ploy. )

It's worth noting, however, that ABC hasn't really made a practice of noting its anchors' weddings in the press release. And it's already gotten some flak for mentioning GMA anchor Robin Roberts bone marrow transplant process so much, some critics say it comes close to exploitation (I say, though Roberts' fight has undoubtedly helped GMA's ratings, its tough to ding them for supporting a colleague fighting such a disease)

I just think its great that the nation's attitudes on gay marriage have changed so much that we're now arguing over whether people are revealing their sexual orientation for publicity, as opposed to hiding it from shame and fear. 

[Last modified: Friday, October 5, 2012 5:28pm]


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