Just days after it was revealed that the Today Show‘s “Modern Day Wedding” contest excluded gay and lesbian couples, NBC — bowing to activist pressure — has opened the contest to same-sex couples, and is extending the entry deadline to allow gay couples time to participate.
Following a “call to action” earlier this week by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Today announced that it will allow gay couples to enter its annual contest, which each year features one couple to marry on live television, after voting by the show’s viewers. Among the prizes, an all-expense paid honeymoon.
Late Thursday, following a meeting with GLAAD, NBC issued this statement:
Over the past few days TODAY has received a considerable response regarding our wedding contest application. The rules stated that eligible couples must be able to be legally married in New York, where we will host the wedding, therefore excluding same-sex couple applicants.
Our intent was not to be discriminatory or exclusive.
In 2005 when the wedding took place outside of New York, the application process was open to same-sex couples. We have listened to every voicemail and read every email. We take this feedback seriously, and we will change our application process. TODAY is a longtime supporter of the LGBT community, and GLAAD considers us an ally. We are committed to keeping those relationships strong and positive.
We have opened up the application process to same-sex couples, and will extend the deadline to Monday, July 12. Moving forward, we ensure that our future wedding contests will be inclusive of all couples.
GLAAD’s call to action prompted thousands of phone calls, emails and letter to NBC, urging the network to allow the gay community the same opportunity to participate in the contest.