MSNBC host Thomas Roberts said Monday that “many people consider President Obama to be the first gay president.”

Roberts was speaking to Shawn Gaylord of Human Rights First, a group fighting discrimination against homosexuals and other sexual minorities. The organization is pushing the White House to defy Russia’s harsh anti-gay laws by sending openly gay delegates to next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“It’s not about asking for special protection,” Roberts claimed. “It’s about asking and seeking equal respect. We do know as we look at the larger picture here, Shawn, that LGBT rights is just one of the points of friction between our country and Russia right now.”

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