Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Call to Action: Today Show's Wedding Contest Discriminates Against Gays and Lesbians

NBC's Today Show is doing another one of its over the top "win a free wedding" contests, called "Modern Day Wedding" and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is calling them out on their "straights only" policy. GLAAD contacted the Today Show and questioned them about their application listing only bride and groom as possible entrants.

The response GLAAD received from the longest running morning show 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." Here is GLAAD's response, as posted on its website:
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.
You can take action and strike a blow for fairness and equality by contacting NBC and demanding that the Today Show demonstrates just how modern it is by opening the "Modern Day Wedding" contest to same-sex couples., which first broke the story, has set up an on line petition demanding that Today allow same-sex couple to compete just as they have done in Today's past contest, "Hometown Wedding".

Or, you can contact the following NBC executives directly by e-mail and demand that they change this discriminatory contest rule immediately:

Jim Bell, Executive Producer
NBC Today Show
(212) 664-4602

Lauren Kapp, Senior Vice President, NBC News Marketing & Communications
NBC Television Network
(212) 664-4444

William Bartlett, Corporate Communications Senior Vice-President
NBC Television Network
(212) 664-4444

Kathy Kelly-Brown, Corporate Communications Senior Vice-President
NBC Television Network
(212) 664-4444

Megan Kopf, Corporate Communications Manager
NBC Television Network
(212) 664-4444
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