“Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts made a surprise announcement on ABC’s morning show Monday, saying she is ready to marry her girlfriend of almost 18 years, Amber Laign.
“I’m hesitating because I haven’t said it out loud yet. It’s okay, I’m saying ‘yes’ to marriage,” Roberts told motivational speaker and author Gabby Bernstein during a conversation about setting intentions for the new year. “We are getting married this year.”
Roberts added that she and Laign, whom she began dating in 2005, previously discussed marriage but “put it off” after Laign was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2021.
Laign, co-founder of women’s wellness brand Plant Juice Oils, completed radiation in July. Roberts herself received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2007, before being diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease of the bone marrow, in 2012.
The couple’s decision to marry comes amid a nationwide surge in same-sex couple households.
For the first time, the number of same-sex couple households in the US has surpassed 1 million, data from the Census Bureau’s Annual American Community Survey revealed in November.
In 2021, there were more than 1.2 million same-sex couple households nationwide, up from 540,000 in 2008, an increase of more than 120%, according to the data.
The number of married same-sex households began to overtake single same-sex households in 2016, following the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges of the 2015 Supreme Court, which effectively legalized same-sex marriage in the US.
Last month, President Joe Biden signed legislation to codify federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. The measure, titled the Respect for Marriage Act, was passed by Congress with bipartisan support.