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Robin Roberts officially comes out on 'GMA'

Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” after announcing

Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” after announcing she has been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood and bone marrow disease formerly known as preleukemia. (June 11, 2012) (Credit: AP)

A week or so ago, Robin Roberts casually mentioned her girlfriend, Amber, in a Facebook post. Monday morning, the world finally got to meet this mysterious significant other, or at least briefly, via a photo of both Roberts and Amber Laign standing side by side at a relative's wedding. Of Amber, Roberts had this to say: She "loved me through a very difficult year." 

The clip is below, and while the media may now treat this is a big so-what, it certainly is important and does beg some of those questions that often go begging at moments like this -- namely why now? Roberts has never exactly made a secret of her orientation, but it was never exactly spoken of in a public forum either.

There are certainly risks for public figures to come out as gay. As the recent Phil Robertson/A&E debacle established, there are those who are very vocal about their views about homosexuality.  But she follows, at least in recent memory, Sam Champion and before him Anderson Cooper, who certainly haven't suffered career setbacks. 

But why now as opposed to six months ago or a year from now? That's obviously for Roberts to answer -- maybe she will at some point. 

 Meanwhile, it's impossible to look upon anything that happens on "GMA" -- or "Today" for that  matter -- in a vacuum.  They remain bitter rivals who just this morning became a little more embittered, when  "Today" announced yet another new initiative -- "Rise to Shine" -- that's a community outreach program but is clearly (also) part of new push to get viewers back and away from "GMA," with a tail wind from the Olympics which start in just 31 days.

Roberts' announcement should have no impact on that battle long-term -- but it certainly stole the initiative from "Today," which saw it's big "news" buried as a result.

Touché.  

Watch the "GMA" segment (click here to watch on a mobile device: http://bit.ly/1cHk8tj):

Tags: robin roberts , good morning america , amber laign

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