September 2008 Archives

September 16, 2008

Equality on the Card Rack: Hallmark Issues Same-Sex Wedding Cards

The nation's largest greeting card company, Hallmark, has begun marketing cards for the same-sex marriage market. A report in the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Hallmark has offered coming out cards for the past year, and sales must be good as the company is now branching out into the world of relationship recognition.

The gay-themed cards join some other "issue" cards, like wedding cards directed at interracial or interfaith couples, cards directed at couples with fertility problems, and cards congratulating someone on making it through rehab (I'm wondering how big the market is for those last ones, outside of Southern California).

I looked on Hallmark's website, but couldn't find images of any of these cards -- perhaps they're not available yet, or are only sold in limited markets and not through the website? I did find this image at and this one at

Of course, the conservative anti-equality forces are none too happy about this development. Concerned Women for Change, a right-wing organization devoted to "bring[ing] biblical principles into all levels of public policy," is totally freaked out. They urge members to stay away from the Hallmark aisles and also from Hallmark's lauded family movies, to ensure their children aren't harmed by the "homosexual agenda."

This homosexual's agenda: Getting myself to the Hallmark aisle. I'm going to three weddings in the next six weeks, and I certainly can't show up without the appropriate card in hand.

September 1, 2008

Lesbian Pioneer Del Martin Dies

Del Martin died yesterday in a San Francisco hospice, with her partner of 55 years, Phyllis Lyon, by her side. The two were married just last month in the first same-sex wedding in San Francisco. 

I don't have much to add to the many eloquent tributes and obituaries that have already been published (for example, at the website of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and in the San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times). They describe a woman of enormous courage and principle, who stood up for the rights of all people to live their lives with respect and dignity. She was the first open lesbian to serve on the board of directors of the National Organization for Women, and was a driving force behind the campaign to convince the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.

Along with Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin may have done more to improve the lives of lesbians in the 20th century than anyone else. From the NCLR obituary: "Del Martin identified her own legacy in 1984 when she said that her most important contribution was 'being able to help make changes in the way lesbians and gay men view themselves and how the larger society views lesbians and gay men.'" That legacy will never die.