Love and Marriage, Love and Marriage, Go together like—gift registries and greeting cards. Like Money.
Once California recognized same-sex marriage, in June of this year, antennae went up all over the country, not simply from Christian right-wing factions sensing a market for pitchforks and burning brands, but also from chambers of commerce, florists, caterers, and greeting card companies.
Several years ago, a friend found a same-sex wedding/commitment card in a local gift shop, snapped it up, and announced that the times they were a-changing.
They were. They are. Hallmark now has unveiled a line (more an extended hyphen than a full line, but nevertheless…) of Gay Marriage Cards. The word “Marriage” is not actually spelled out on any of them, and the purpose of two of the three (of a total of four cards) I have seen is so embedded, and muted to a such degree, that in comparison, Trebark® Camo would jump out like a suit of lights.
Two rose hearts on a Wedgewood blue field murmur, “Partners in life and love,” while on another, 278 tiny rainbow hearts embrace a terse, “Two hearts. One promise.” The third resembles an austere, graphic black “M,” which resolves into two tuxedoed torsos, the arms (you can’t see their clasped hands) forming the central “V” of the capital “M.”
Hallmark no doubt is building on the success of its earlier, 176-card “Journeys” series, a spectrum of buyable sentiments for friends who have lost a job, started chemotherapy, suffered a miscarriage, or managed to leave an abusive spouse. Two are suitable for a gay friend’s coming out (“Be who you are”; a rainbow image), but don’t refer to the “H” or “G” words directly.
So, you have to hand it to Hallmark, if not for cutting-edge gay inclusion, at least for being the dove that brings the first commercially green branch back to the Ark. Landfall is just a wingbeat away. If this American institution is putting out feelers toward the gay heart and dollar, can universal acceptance be far behind?
Well, sure it can. But consider: These first cards represent merely the tip of the output of the company’s giant R&D machine that labored so exhaustively to birth them. Hallmark knows something, and that’s good enough for me.
Soon, both the Democratic and Republican conventions will have had their last hurrah, and we’ll be rushing headlong toward November 4.
Will California vote to keep its same-sex marriages? Will the country’s coffers continue to swell with gay and gay-friendly dollars?
I’m optimistic: With a 4.2 billion dollar bellwether leading the way, we are poised on the threshold of our own Hallmark Moment.