Wednesday, July 7, 2010

ACT NOW: Call on NBC to Open Today Show Wedding Contest! Marriage Equality and Family Fairness

UPDATE, 7/9/10 - Today Show reverses course, opens contest to LGBT couples. SUCCESS! Thanks to everyone who acted!

(Thanks to ENC Communication Intern
Matthew McGibney.)

The “Modern Day Wedding Contest” on NBC’s Today Show wants to throw the perfect wedding for a pair of contestants … as long as the couple is straight. Not very modern! (Especially when you consider that the Today Show welcomed gay couples in their past “Hometown Wedding Contest.”)

The Today Show is accepting applications for its contest until this Friday, July 9. The winning couple’s wedding will be broadcast live in October, and their honeymoon will be paid for by the show. That sounds like a ton of fun, but it’s only for people who can enter “bride” and “groom” separately on the website.

Good As You noticed this quirk and brought it to the attention of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). When GLAAD contacted the show for an explanation, they got this response:

“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."

As you might have realized, New York hasn't established marriage equality. But as GLAAD points out, the show is looking to award a wedding ceremony, not a marriage certificate. New York State recognizes marriage certificates from other states, including those with equal marriage laws.

Here is the problem in The Today Show's reasoning in GLAAD’s own words:

“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.”

GLAAD started an action campaign against the show’s actions. You can find more information on the campaign here:

Back here in North Carolina, Equality NC is gearing up to counter the myths spun by the Summer Marriage Inequality Tour (as we’ve taken to calling it) by the National Organization for Marriage, whom you might remember for their role in the passage of Prop 8 in California. The tour, which pushes for heterosexual-only marriage, will pass through Raleigh in August.

We’ll be starting a blog this summer with stories from LGBT and allied couples about their marriages, relationships, and families. Bigotry is based on ignorance, and by sharing the stories of our families, both biological and of-choice, we can show the reality of diversity and starkly show the unfairness of discrimination and how it affects us, our loved ones, and our children.

If you have a story about your family or relationship, we very much encourage you to share it with us. There are two ways you can do this:

1. You can write your story and e-mail it to Include a photo of your family, too!

2. You can record a video (with your webcam or video camera), upload it to YouTube, and then e-mail us the link. Or if you prefer, you can skip the uploading and e-mail us the video file and we'll upload it for you.

Stay tuned for more ....

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