First on TVNewser: In a reversal of its earlier policy, TVNewser has learned that NBC’s “Today” show will allow same-sex couples to enter its annual wedding contest. Expect an official announcement later tonight. To accommodate the change, “Today” will extend the deadline, originally tomorrow, until Monday.
The change comes after pressure from gay rights groups including GLAAD. “Today” show EP Jim Bell met with representatives from GLAAD today.
Update: The official statement from “Today” to GLAAD has been posted on the “Today” show website. Read it after the jump.
Over the past few days TODAY has received a considerable response regarding our wedding contest application. The rules stated that eligible couples must be able to be legally married in New York, where we will host the wedding, therefore excluding same-sex couple applicants. Our intent was not to be discriminatory or exclusive. In 2005 when the wedding took place outside of New York, the application process was open to same-sex couples. We have listened to every voicemail and read every email. We take this feedback seriously, and we will change our application process. TODAY is a longtime supporter of the LGBT community, and GLAAD considers us an ally. We are committed to keeping those relationships strong and positive. We have opened up the application process to same-sex couples, and will extend the deadline to Monday, July 12. Moving forward, we ensure that our future wedding contests will be inclusive of all couples.