Another breakthrough: “Today” show will feature gay weddings

Sweeping transformations in American civic, cultural and political life are greatly assisted by changes in popular culture. So NBC’s announcement that it will allow the “Today” show to feature same-sex couples vying for its popular marriage contest is big news, indeed. In another ten years, gay-bashing politicians and preachers will have a much harder time persuading the public that gay marriage represents a mortal threat to the institution of marriage. From AP:

NBC extended the deadline for applications until Monday. Already thousands of couples have expressed interest in the on-air wedding, which the top-rated morning show has sponsored for a decade, a spokeswoman said.

“We’re thrilled that ‘Today’ show’s ‘Modern Wedding Contest’ now recognizes what most fair-minded Americans have already concluded — a wedding celebrates love and commitment, whether the spouses are straight or gay,” said Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

Viewers plan every aspect of the wedding, from the cake to the clothing styles of attendants. NBC picks four couples from thousands of applicants, and viewers vote on which of those couples will participate.

After a meeting with gay and lesbian activists on Thursday, NBC’s “Today” show said it is changing the rules for its annual wedding contest to allow same-sex couples to apply for a ceremony conducted on morning TV.

In other news related to the gradual extension of gay rights, a Massachusetts court ruled yesterday that the federal ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. From the NYT:

A federal judge in Massachusetts found Thursday that a law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, ruling that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

Judge Joseph L. Tauro of United States District Court in Boston sided with the plaintiffs in two separate cases brought by the state attorney general and a gay rights group.

Although legal experts disagreed over how the rulings would fare on appeal, the judge’s decisions were nonetheless sure to further inflame the nationwide debate over same-sex marriage and gay rights.

If the rulings find their way to the Supreme Court and are upheld there, they will put same-sex marriage within the constitutional realm of protection, just as interracial marriage has been for decades. Seeking that protection is at the heart of both the Massachusetts cases and a federal case pending in California over the legality of that state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Court rulings are very important in protecting minority rights — establishing a minimum degree of institutional support for women, people of color, Jews and other groups that have been historically disciminated against. But television, music and other medium of popular culture do much more to change public attitudes, especially among the young.

Many observers of cultural transformation credit televisions shows such as “24″ and movies such as “Deep Impact” with preparing the nation for the first black president. They featured black actors in that role.

TV shows such as “Glee” feature gay actors and children of gay parents in well-drawn roles. Those shows, too, have done much to change the culture. So will “Today” show weddings help bring same-sex marriage into mainstream acceptance.

268 comments Add your comment

Nancy Pelosi

July 9th, 2010
7:42 am

This is wonderful. I wish I was gay.

Peadawg

July 9th, 2010
7:47 am

Never watched the Today show and never will.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

July 9th, 2010
7:47 am

America in 10 years!

Next on NBC, Tom and the Turtle! Next week on NBC, Michael Vick and his Pit Bull. Stay tuned for further developments in the case of a man wanting to marry his mother. In two weeks don’t miss our exclusive on eGore and his oak tree.

Granny Godzilla

July 9th, 2010
7:48 am

Good News and thanks to the Today Show.

Joe Mustich

July 9th, 2010
7:53 am

Thanks again Cynthia. Kudos to “Today”

Onward to full civil and marraige equality rights in the 21st century,
Joe Mustich & Ken Cornet, Justices of the Peace,
Washington, Connecticut, USA.

And kudos to CT where we legalized civil unions in 2005 and marriage equality in 2008.

MAC

July 9th, 2010
7:54 am

this is a sideshow for publicity and ratings, no “breakthrough”

does anyone still watch these morning shows?

Cynthia is Sexy!!

July 9th, 2010
7:57 am

The morning shows are just sideshow fodder, mental masturbation if you will. I would suspect they also are the catalyst for much of the hysterics regarding Obama, climate change etc. Then there is The View *BARF*

Peadawg

July 9th, 2010
7:59 am

“this is a sideshow for publicity and ratings”

Bingo! And Cynthia jumps on it like a fat kid on a cupcake.

Glenn Beck

July 9th, 2010
8:00 am

Am I being punked?

JohnnyReb

July 9th, 2010
8:01 am

Another example of the left ignoring the wishes of the majority of Americans. And make no mistake, NBC is on the Left. Ratings in the toilet and the response is to cater to the minority. When their situation becomes worse because of this decision, the feature will fade to black with no fanfare.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

July 9th, 2010
8:06 am

So who is the happy couple? Are they boys or girls? Butch and Tina or Butch and Larry or Angie and Sharon?

Kamchak

July 9th, 2010
8:08 am

Three posts in is the first mention of zoophilia.

Predictable.

Peadawg

July 9th, 2010
8:14 am

“Three posts in is the first mention of zoophilia.”

Equal rights for ALL, right? They should a brother and sister on the show as well.

andygrd

July 9th, 2010
8:17 am

In 10 years, the ABC, CBS, and NBC, along with other leftist outlets, will be history, as will be the far right outlets. Journalist integrity has all but vanished in the USA… I am tired of the media telling us what we should think… Just present the facts and we will form our opinion… What we need are media outlets the present unbiased information….

Thomas

July 9th, 2010
8:18 am

Great piece Cynthia! Amazing how the bigots are so easily threatened as seen by some of these comments. The US Constitution guarantees equality to ALL Americans. Don’t like it? Move to a theocracy like Iran. Why do the bigots hate the foundind document of our great nation, the US Constitution? Why do they hate America?

Cynthia is Sexy!!

July 9th, 2010
8:20 am

You hate America.
No, you do.
Unn uh…you a hater. Stop hatin
You a hater ya hater.
You are a hate filled hater.
You hate America
No, I love America but you dont…

Peadawg

July 9th, 2010
8:20 am

“The US Constitution guarantees equality to ALL Americans.”

Exactly, so what’s wrong w/ incest(according to the Constitution)? Why is that still outlawed?

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

July 9th, 2010
8:21 am

Kamchak,

Did you miss the son and mother? Why not? Let’s be equal!

Cynthia is Sexy!!

July 9th, 2010
8:22 am

Dawg…would the Constitution also cover Gramps marrying his grand daughter or Mommy marrying her son? Well if it doesnt it should.

Thomas

July 9th, 2010
8:27 am

You know once you let women have the vote, then turtles will get to vote!! Once you allows blacks to vote, then dogs will get to vote!! Does this follow the logic of the bigots posting here? I will say, however, that we should vote on who gets married in nation. Since there is so much uneducated ignoramuses breeding, I say “ban Republican marriage”. Just look at the South…

Peadawg

July 9th, 2010
8:27 am

Exactly, Cynthia is Sexy!!. Equal rights for all!!!!!

Granny Godzilla

July 9th, 2010
8:27 am

Whenever the issue of Gay Marriage comes up we have the folks who immediately think of incest or bestiality.

Ah….another example of Granny G’s political theorum #2.
The “He who smelt it dealt it” corollary.

Seems somebody has been giving a lot of thought to the sexual attractiveness of his sister.

Sam (The Cool 1 )

July 9th, 2010
8:28 am

The Cisco Kid and Pancho reruns would make better viewing. Did you know the show was filmed in color? We all had B&W TVs when they first were shown. Interesting?

Dave from GT

July 9th, 2010
8:33 am

Is Jerry Springer going to host the Today show? Ratings would have to go up….. nowhere else to go!

I bet the Damon Evans thing is a ruse. He’s going to show up on the ToGay show now he has nothing to lose.

Kamchak

July 9th, 2010
8:33 am

Seems somebody has been giving a lot of thought to the sexual attractiveness of his sister.

We REALLY need Bosch to set up a screen cleaner franchise over here.

T-Town

July 9th, 2010
8:35 am

Sounds like another reality show to me. Bring back “As The Stomach Turns” or whatever the soap opera was called.

Jeremy

July 9th, 2010
8:35 am

Gays should be able to marry- the question would be why would one be so weak to be offended. I liked the piece on Paul the octopus that has correctly picked six straight world cup games. Interesting in that he has received death threats and peta is calling for his release to freedom. True look at the whacky and radical fringe elements.

Peadawg

July 9th, 2010
8:35 am

“Seems somebody has been giving a lot of thought to the sexual attractiveness of his sister.”

Typical response. I’m just advocating equal rights all just like you are, Granny. Homosexuality, incest, what’s the difference as far are as the Constitution is concerned? Why’s one outlawed and one is allowed(in some states)? Simple question.

Granny Godzilla

July 9th, 2010
8:42 am

But Peadawg….

Do you really not know why incest is banned?

Exactly how many arms and legs do you have?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

July 9th, 2010
8:45 am

Certain this will goose their ratings with the highly-desired teabagger demographic.

Kirk C

July 9th, 2010
8:50 am

It is great to see on the same day a federal court, a major television network and a mainline Christian denomination [the Presbyterians] take appropriate and long awaited steps toward full equality in our society for gay folks. The question of changing hearts and minds versus changing the law is an interesting one. It is changing the law, however, that will have the most real practical impact on people. Removing DOMA’s discriminatory definition of marriage and returning to the nation’s traditional jurisprudence that places marriage and family law squarely in the hands of state governments will open the doors for legally married gay couples to have access to the more than 1000 rights and benefits granted to married couples under federal law.

Peadawg

July 9th, 2010
8:52 am

“Do you really not know why incest is banned?”

According to the US Constitution, the one that says equal rights for all, no I don’t. It’s no different than homosexuality. You can’t help who your attracted to, right?

BTW, I’m an only child so don’t go there.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

July 9th, 2010
8:54 am

Granny Godzilla,

Define “EQUAL” in you’re little world?

Aquagirl

July 9th, 2010
8:56 am

Peadawg, the fact you can’t distinguish between incest and gay marriage says volumes.

The homosexuality=incest idea has been addressed/debunked about a million times. You can keep repeating it like a doddering rest home resident as the rest of us join the 21st century.

Peadawg

July 9th, 2010
8:58 am

“Peadawg, the fact you can’t distinguish between incest and gay marriage says volumes.”

Equal rights for all people. If you let gays marry, there’s no reason to not let brothers and sisters marry…according to the Constitution.

T-Town

July 9th, 2010
9:00 am

Brings up a curious question: would two brothers getting married be considered incest?

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

July 9th, 2010
9:01 am

Aquagirl.

Define “EQUAL” in you’re little world?

Scout

July 9th, 2010
9:01 am

So the slide into Sodom & Gomorrah continues.

Don’t look back Cynthia ………. you might turn into a pillar of salt.

John K

July 9th, 2010
9:01 am

“Whenever the issue of Gay Marriage comes up we have the folks who immediately think of incest or bestiality”

Because they’re stuck in a 12 year old mindset.

Whether for ratings or not, this is great news. And I’d love to hear one of these detractors explain why their marriage is so weak that if a gay couple were to marry it’d infringe on their rights.

Peadawg

July 9th, 2010
9:03 am

“Because they’re stuck in a 12 year old mindset.”

How so? I’m doing the same thing y’all are…advocating for equal rights!!!!!

Ragnar Danneskjöld

July 9th, 2010
9:04 am

Dear Aquagirl @ 8:56, I have never seen the “homosexuality = Incest” idea “debunked.” Marriage traditionally has a narrow definition, “man + woman,” and in the past century was narrowed even further under law in the exclusion of the “common law” definition. We would agree that leftists have attempted to inflate the definition of marriage over the past 20 years, to try to steal the long-in-place social subsidies favoring procreation. That concerted effort does not make the leftist initiative appropriate, and I cannot think of an economic reason non-procreative relationships deserve to be subsidized by society in any manner.

Had you limited your argument to one that “government has no interest in the definition of marriage” I think I could have joined your position.

Cynthia is Sexy!!

July 9th, 2010
9:05 am

Equal is equal according to Dems perception. However, and one thing is for sure “none of us will ever be free until nerd persecution ends”.

John K

July 9th, 2010
9:06 am

Marriage traditionally has a narrow definition, “man + woman,”

No, marriage traditionally has been a business deal between the fathers.

TGT

July 9th, 2010
9:06 am

What a surprise! A northeastern federal judge and NBC supports one of the crown jewels of the far left! As if conservatives needed another issue to rally Americans to their side come November!

Libs have had some success with this in the courts and the liberal media, just none at the ballot box. 31 for 31. Every state that has put gay marriage before its electorate—31 states now—has seen it rejected. At an average rate of 67.5%, voters in the 31 states have, at the very least, banned same-sex marriage. (Nineteen states have banned not only same-sex marriage, but also civil unions.)

The rejection of gay marriage has occurred not only in conservative states, but in some very liberal ones as well, such as Maine, California, Oregon, and Hawaii. Purple states such as Ohio, Colorado, and Nevada have also soundly rejected gay marriage. Across the U.S., from the Deep South to the Northeast to the Midwest to the West coast, Americans have united behind biblical marriage.

So yeah, lets again make this a political issue for the 2010 midterms.

I'm here from the government and I'm here to help

July 9th, 2010
9:06 am

John K,

A site for you….

100% free gay incest stories and photos! More than 300 of gay incest stories – 100% free. Biggest collection of gay incest pictures and videos – FREE!

Cynthia is Sexy!!

July 9th, 2010
9:07 am

What if Mommy and Son or Grandpa and grand-daughter promised to no reproduce. Would that be a suitable alternative? Could we impose such and then allow marriage of equals?

MarkD

July 9th, 2010
9:08 am

haha. Love hearing the right wingnuts cry about these events. Soon they’ll only have democrats to hate.

John K

July 9th, 2010
9:09 am

As I said, “12 year old mindset”

You Asked

July 9th, 2010
9:09 am

Take the tax exemption away from marriage. Treat everybody the same in the eyes of the law. Then let Churches define marriage as they want.

If the money isn’t there no one will care.

(but as long as it is there I’m taking the exemption for the wife and kids… I’m not stupid)

MarkD

July 9th, 2010
9:10 am

Oh TGT, That northeastern federal judge was appointed by Richard Nixon. So maybe there really are some republicans that understand the constitution afterall.