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The Today Show is hosting a contest, Today’s Wedding: Modern Love! “TODAY is throwing a modern day wedding! Whether your love blossomed over the Internet or you met the old-fashioned way, we want to hear from you!” touts its Facebook entry page. It’s a seemingly sweet idea- you and your significant other can enter to win a wedding on the Today Show and you get a free honeymoon!
Well, sure, if you’re heterosexual.
Apparently “modern love” still excludes the millions of gay and lesbian couples out there.
According to fine print, winners must be heterosexual.
GLAAD contacted the network last week to find out why its application listed only “bride” and “groom” as options for applicants since the Today Show welcomed same-sex couples to apply to its “Hometown Wedding Contest” in years past. Good As You blog alerted us to the application problem.
NBC sent GLAAD this statement regarding the 2010 Modern Day Wedding Contest:
“For the TODAY show wedding, the couple must be able to be legally married in New York, which is where the wedding will take place.”
This is not a valid argument since New York State legally recognizes same-sex marriages licensed in other states. Same-sex couples can now legally obtain marriage licenses in Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington D.C. NBC is mistakenly equating the marriage license with the wedding celebration. Same-sex weddings are entirely legal in New York State. As long as the marriage license is conferred upon the same-sex couple by another state, New York State recognizes the marriage as a fully valid and legal one. NBC’s exclusion of same-sex couples from its contest is not motivated by the law, but bias against these couples.
Sounds REEEEAALLL “modern” to me, you know, just excluding millions of couples across the nation. Thanks for the LOL, NBC. Coulda sworn we were talking about The Today Show, not SNL here.
GLAAD goes on not only to make the obvious point that producers could very easily work with the winning couple to assure that they obtained legal rights in their own state but more importantly that the contest isn’t to win the legality of a marriage, it is to win the celebration of one. Although it is harder for the gay and lesbian communities to marry, the problem most people have with getting married isn’t going to get the paper, it’s being able to commemorate the event the way they would like to, especially in this economy.
The scary part of all this is the reach The Today Show has, with millions of viewers across the states everyday. If The Today Show doesn’t amend the contest rules, it it sending a very discriminatory message, even if it claims it is abiding by the New York State laws. By not allowing everyone to enter, NBC and The Today Show are basically taking a stance on a heated national debate. As a news source, NBC should take every opportunity to be neutral and this act is simply condoning the prejudice laws that are running ramped through this country and stealing the freedoms of innocent Americans everyday.
Click here to see how you can help and take action with GLAAD to get the contest amended and help in the fight for equality for every man and woman, no matter their sexual preference.
By Marissa Ross