- The Magazine
Anti-LGBTQ leaders and organizations are blasting the Hallmark Channel and calling for a boycott after its CEO apologized for an earlier decision to pull commercials featuring a lesbian couple getting married and kissing.
Last week, the Hallmark Channel yanked ads from the online wedding website Zola.com after social conservatives, particularly the organization One Million Moms, began circulating a petition calling on the network to stop airing ads and pursuing movies or storylines featuring LGBTQ characters or content.
The petition was initially sparked by comments from Bill Abbott, the CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark Channel’s parent company, about being open to accepting scripts for new movies involving same-sex couples.
In response to the Hallmark Channel’s actions, Zola.com pulled its remaining ads, even those featuring opposite-sex couples.
LGBTQ activists, particularly the media advocacy organization GLAAD, circulated its own petition urging Hallmark Channel to reinstate the ads, taking umbrage at a comment by a Hallmark Channel spokeswoman that dismissed the same-sex marriage ad as “controversial” and a “distraction,” while casting its content as incompatible with the channel’s aim of providing “family-friendly” entertainment.
But earlier this week, Hallmark Channel CEO Mike Perry apologized for yanking the ads, promising to re-establish a working relationship with Zola.com and touting the company’s pro-LGBTQ record while promising to work with GLAAD in the future to “better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands.”
That apology, of course, has enraged social conservatives, who have now singled out the Hallmark Channel as their newest foe, with One Million Moms calling for a boycott of the channel.
“The Hallmark Channel has always been known for its family-friendly movies. Even its commercials are usually safe for family viewing. Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore,” writes Monica Cole, the director of One Million Moms. “It is the belief of [One Million Moms] that same-sex relationships are still extremely controversial and it should be left to parents to bring up the subject with children. It is clear that Hallmark is no longer family-friendly, and parents will need to exercise caution before heading to the channel.”
Cole adds that many social conservatives feel betrayed because Hallmark Channel was one of the few channels where they didn’t feel “bombarded with politically correct commercials and the LGBTQ agenda.”
“Family entertainment is not the outlet in which to be politically correct by forcing tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality — a sinful lifestyle that Scripture clearly deems as wrong. You can read so in Romans 1:18-32,” Cole writes on the AFA website. “The culture war, better yet the war for the soul of man, is definitely heating up. One Million Moms will keep fighting because souls are at stake. This LGBTQ spirit is the same spirit we read about in the Bible that confronted Lot. It’s relentless but the good news is we serve the God who is King of kings, Lord of lords, and will not be mocked. Hallmark, Zola, etc. and all that make up those companies will ALL bow to the Lord.”
One Million Moms is known for boycotting companies who espouse support for same-sex marriage, abortion, or other social issues, including any companies who adopt pro-LGBTQ employment policies or air commercials featuring positive images of same-sex couples or LGBTQ families.
Among the companies it has urged social conservatives to boycott are: PBS, Target, Barnes & Noble, Hotels.com, Kellogg’s, Whole Foods, Disney, and Teen Vogue.
AFA’s Bryan Fischer, who hosts the “Focal Point” radio program on AFA’s channel, denounced the Hallmark Channel’s reversal on airing the Zola.com ad, recounting how social conservatives had been able to pressure the company into pulling the ads before LGBTQ activists intervened.
“And then the gay Gestapo, the bullies of the homosexual movement — and remember, their theme is ‘homosexuality uber alles,’ homosexual trumps everything — so they got a hold of Hallmark, they started getting in, getting after it, getting on Hallmark, and they folded in about 48 hours. They completely collapsed,” Fischer lamented. “…Now they are apologizing all over themselves for supporting normative sexuality. …Another victory for the gay Gestapo.”
Evangelical leader Franklin Graham posted about the channel’s reversal on his Facebook page, writing: “We can change the channel. That’s what I’ll do if I’m watching the Hallmark Channel and an ad with gay people kissing comes on.
“My family has enjoyed this channel for years. We — and millions of others — have appreciated their wholesome content that was unlike so much of what is on television today. But the LGBTQ agenda bullies everybody — including the Hallmark Channel,” Graham wrote.
“Now they’ve announced that they’re reinstating the ad and will again be airing it and others like it,” Graham added, urging social conservatives to boycott the channel and express their displeasure at the decision. “That’s a shame.”
Pope Francis has once again stated that the Catholic Church won't bless same-sex marriages, calling it a divine sacrament that the church cannot change.
Speaking to reporters last week, Francis was asked if he approves of European countries passing laws recognizing marriage equality, the Associated Press reports.
"I have spoken clearly about this, no? Marriage is a sacrament. Marriage is a sacrament," the Pope replied. "The church doesn’t have the power to change sacraments. It’s as our Lord established."
Francis said that it was "important" to pass laws that "try to help the situation for many people of different sexual orientation," but that such laws can't impose "things that by nature do not function in the church."
A gay Missouri teacher who says district officials reprimanded him for pushing a "personal agenda on sexuality" for putting up an LGBTQ Pride flag in his classroom has resigned.
John M. Wallis, a former speech and theater teacher at Neosho Junior High School in Southwest Missouri, said he resigned last week following a series of complaints from parents and demands from the school district.
In a Twitter thread, Wallis, who grew up in Neosho and attended the school he was teaching at, explained that he had hung a Pride flag in his classroom, along with a sign that read, "In this classroom EVERYONE is welcome," in the hope that students, especially LGBTQ youth, would know they had a teacher they could come to for help -- something he didn't have growing up.
American Airlines has apologized after an off-duty pilot used a plane's PA system to rant to passengers about his struggles with being gay.
The pilot, who works for American Airlines' subsidiary Envoy Air, told passengers he wanted to "share the love of Christ" with them and ignored demands from "uncomfortable" passengers urging him to stop speaking.
His three-minute speech included mention of being sexually assaulted as a child, dealing with sex addiction, struggling with suicidal ideation, and even marrying a woman to hide his sexuality.
Throughout, passengers tried to disembark the plane, which had recently landed after flying from Washington, D.C., to Chicago.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!