An American television wedding competition has agreed to accept gay and lesbian couples as contestants following a campaign by LGBT activists.

On Thursday, after meeting with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), NBC executives agreed to open the Today Show’s “Modern Day Wedding Contest” to same-sex couples.

The initial application form for the contest only had options for the groom and bride’s names.

The network initially told GLAAD that the competition was indeed only open to heterosexual couples because to qualify couples “must be able to be legally married in New York, which is where the wedding will take place”.

GLAAD pointed out that although same-sex marriage licenses are not granted in New York, the state does legally recognise same-sex marriages licensed in other states, which means that these weddings can indeed take place in New York.

In addition to allowing same-sex couples to take part, executives also agreed to extend the deadline for entries.

“Thanks to the thousands of people who sent emails to the Today Show, blogged about it, and shared the Call to Action on Twitter and Facebook. We could not have done it without you,” said GLAAD.

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