Now I pronounce you Top and Bottom. Top, you may kiss the Bottom.
Yes, now that more than 1,000 newspapers across the nation accept wedding announcements from same-sex couples, it only seems right that Hallmark should make a card specifically celebrating that happy occasion. And they have. Finally.
According to a report in Gay News Blog recently, Hallmark added the cards after California joined Massachusetts as the only U.S. states with legal gay marriage.
"It's our goal to be as relevant as possible to as many people as we can," Hallmark spokeswoman Sarah Gronberg Kolell told the Associated Press.
According to the article by AJ Burton of Gay Financial Network, GFN, it's not just an attempt to stay relevant, though. By not speaking directly to gay unions with their cards, the company was missing out on an ever-growing piece of the gay marriage pie, an industry that continues to boom. By some estimates, gay weddings and commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples generate about $1 billion a year in revenue, according to media and entertainment company PlanetOut. A survey conducted by PlanetOut shows "gay consumers earn 20% more than their straight counterparts, on average, and spend about 10% more on nuptials."
Although Hallmark doesn't offer cards that specifically cover other legally sanctioned forms of gay relationships -- like Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships -- the language inside the cards makes no specific mention of wedding or marriage, so the cards could be used to cover any kind of gay union. The images on the outside, however, are clearly geared toward same-sex relationships, as the cards feature graphics that show two tuxedos, overlapping hearts or intertwined flowers that are unmistakably for gay couples.
Hallmark began offering coming-out cards last year. The introduction of the gay marriage cards makes Hallmark the first major greeting card company in the country to make such an offering. And for the moment, they've got a lock on gay marriages: Hallmark's largest competitor, American Greetings Corp., says it has no plans to enter the market, saying its current offerings are general enough to speak to a lot of different relationships.