(This story was published in 2002).

By: Scott Seomin (GLAAD)

We supported the representation of Billy & Chuck, NOT the called-off wedding. The WWE lied to us two months ago when they promised that Billy & Chuck would come out and wed on the air. In fact, I was told (lied to) the day after the show was taped in Minneapolis that the wedding took place and all was well.

The WWE also lied to The Today Show, the New York Times and other media outlets. Many have contacted me to express their disdain for a the WWE’s unprofessional marketing machine.

Before the wedding, Billy and Chuck were a welcomed departure from the stereotypical, often-victimized gay wrestlers of the past. Instead of yelling anti-gay epithets at the handsome couple, audiences cheered their engagement. Their television appearances, while entertaining, also enlightened viewers: Closeted gay teenagers across the country could feel less alone when they watch ‘Smackdown!’ and potential gay bashers could learn that we are everywhere.

GLAAD even congratulated Billy & Chuck on their wedding and Matt Lauer presented them (on behalf of GLAAD) with a gravy boat from Pottery Barn for the occasion. (They were not registered there, as the Outsports story originally said. It was simply my idea to send them a wedding gift).

Following the news of what really happened, we released the following statement:

“If their behavior is any indication, Billy and Chuck are in denial about who they really are — two gay men who love each other. The couple’s actions of affection speak louder than their words of denial. At GLAAD, we know how hard it is for people in the spot light to come out — but when Billy and Chuck are ready to let themselves be who they really are, we’ll be there to support them.”