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Same-sex couples will be allowed to apply for the Today show's "Modern Day Wedding" contest after NBC met with gay and lesbian advocates about protests of their exclusion.

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"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," Jarrett Barrios, president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said in a statement. "NBC heard GLAAD and the thousands of viewers who contacted them. And they have moved to make their contest a truly modern wedding where any couple can share their story."The contest was previously closed to same-sex couples because same-sex weddings are not legal in New York, NBC said. (In 2005, same-sex couples were allowed to apply because the wedding was to be held out-of-state.)GLAAD learned of the exclusion last week and issued a "call to action" to members to complain, Barrios said. NBC said that GLAAD argued same-sex couples can obtain a marriage license elsewhere and marry in New York, as the state recognizes licenses granted in other jurisdictions. The network said it listened to viewers' protests and met with GLAAD on Thursday.

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"Moving forward, we ensure that our future wedding contests will be inclusive to all couples," NBC said.As a result of the change, NBC extended the deadline for applications until Monday.