Once again, NBC is holding a wedding contest in which the winning couple will be awarded a wedding aired live on the network's highly-rated Today morning show and an all-expense paid honeymoon.
Unfortunately, Today's "Modern Day Wedding Contest" isn't open to same-sex couples.
In a statement from NBC given to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the network said:
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.
But, as GLAAD noted in response:
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.
The Today Show is awarding a wedding celebration, not a marriage license. If a same-sex couple won the contest, producers and the winning couple could easily work together to ensure that the couple properly obtained and complied with the requirements of a marriage license in one of the license-conferring jurisdictions. The full wedding celebration would then take place on the Today Show. Given these legal realities, GLAAD has urged NBC to amend its contest rules and allow same-sex couples to apply.
With only days left until applications must be submitted (deadline is Friday, July 9), GLAAD is calling on those concerned with NBC's actions to contact the network and ask that it open the competition up to same-sex couples.