'Today' Declares Itself a Gay 'Ally,' Will Permit Same-Sex Couples in Wedding Contest

NBC proved that it will respond quickly to charges of bias - at least if the charges come from a left-wing activist group.

When NBC announced the "Today" show's annual summer wedding contest, the network made it clear homosexual couples would not be eligible since New York does not license same-sex marriages.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation issued a press release condemning the decision and urged its members to complain to the network. After a meeting between GLAAD and NBC officials Thursday, the network announced it was reversing its decision.

The "Today" show said its intention was neither "discriminatory" nor "exclusive." NBC reminded viewers of its inclusion of same-sex couples in 2005, noting that "Today" is a "longtime supporter" and "ally" of the LGBT community.

Appeased, GLAAD praised NBC for "living up to its own high standard of fairness."

To further accommodate its allies in the gay community, NBC extended the contest application deadline to Monday, July 12, and promised that future wedding contests "will be inclusive of all couples."

The contest, which has aired for 11 years on "Today," gives viewers the chance to vote for one couple to have a wedding celebration professionally planned for them and broadcast live on "Today."

This is not the first time NBC has proven itself biased in covering the gay lifestyle. In August 2008, NBC Universal took out a full page ad in the program for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association convention declaring, "Your Victories are Our Victories."

When the California Supreme Court rules laws banning same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, NBC's Pete Williams declared on the May 15, 2008, "Nightly News" that it was a "huge victory for advocates of gay rights."

Most recently, in April 2010, NBC announced a partnership with gay magazine The Advocate.