NBC changes rules to allow same-sex couples to apply for ‘Today’ ceremonies

Posted by David Bauder of The Associated Press on google.com:

 

"After a meeting with gay and lesbian activists on Thursday, NBC's Today show said it is changing the rules for its annual wedding contest to allow same-sex couples to apply for a ceremony conducted on morning TV.

"NBC extended the deadline for applications until Monday. Already thousands of couples have expressed interest in the on-air wedding, which the top-rated morning show has sponsored for a decade, a spokeswoman said.

"'We're thrilled that the Today show's `Modern Wedding Contest' now recognizes what most fair-minded Americans have already concluded — a wedding celebrates love and commitment, whether the spouses are straight or gay,' said Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

"Viewers plan every aspect of the wedding, from the cake to the clothing styles of attendants. NBC picks four couples from thousands of applicants, and viewers vote on which of those couples will participate.

"Same-sex couples have been excluded because New York state law does not allow them to get wedding licenses. But NBC said GLAAD pointed out that a same-sex couple would be able to get a license from another state and still have their ceremony in New York.

"NBC said it had listened to voicemails and read e-mails protesting its decision not to honor the marriages of same-sex couples. The show considers relations with the gay and lesbian community very important, it said in a statement.

"'Moving forward, we ensure that our future wedding contests will be inclusive of all couples,' NBC said."

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