August 22, 2008
The greeting card features two male torsos in tuxedos. The message is clear -- Hallmark is ready to join the celebration of same-sex marriage.
According to the Associated Press, America's most prominent greeting card producer decided to roll out a line of same-sex greetings after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in May. The company had released a line of "coming out" cards last year.
As the Associated Press reports:
The language inside the cards is neutral, with no mention of wedding or marriage, making them also suitable for a commitment ceremony. Hallmark says the move is a response to consumer demand, not any political pressure.
"It's our goal to be as relevant as possible to as many people as we can," Hallmark spokeswoman Sarah Gronberg Kolell said.
The fact that Hallmark has decided to publish the cards is in some ways less interesting than that statement from the company's spokeswoman. When Sarah Gronberg Kolell asserts that Hallmark wants "to be as relevant as possible to as many people as we can" she clearly intends, even now, for the public to read certain limitations on that goal.
We can safely assume that the company is not to release a line of cards intended to celebrate polygamous marriages. There has been no shortage of media attention to these polygamous unions, but don't look for a new card picturing a man in a tuxedo surrounded by women in bridal gowns.
No, the decision to market the same-sex marriage celebration cards reveals some tipping point in the culture. The normalization of homosexuality and homosexual unions is significantly enhanced when a company like Hallmark joins the revolution.
"The fact that you have someone like Hallmark going into that niche shows it's growing and signals a trend," remarked Barbara Miller, a spokeswoman for the Greeting Card Association.
But same-sex marriage is not the only trend of note in this regard. Some greeting card companies now offer lines of cards announcing and celebrating divorce. Selected card lines for heterosexual couples are designed to cover both the married and the cohabitating. One company recently released a series of Valentines greetings for adulterous partners.
Historians are not likely to look to our greeting cards as the most important documentation of these times, but they are hardly irrelevant. These cards underline what this society has decided to celebrate, allow, and announce.
Hallmark is sending America a message with the release of these same-sex marriage cards. Perhaps it is high time to send a message back.
In addition to being one of Salem’s nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts, R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and recognized as one of America’s leading theologians and cultural commentators. Contact Dr. Mohler at [email protected].