Friday, 08 November 2013

Homosexuals Angry Over Non-"Gay" Hallmark Christmas Ornament

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Homosexual activists are peeved at the Hallmark greeting company over a Christmas ornament it is marketing that is conspicuous for its non-“gay” appearance. Each year Hallmark comes out with a set of holiday “keepsake” ornaments, and this year is no exception. But one has garnered worldwide attention — and possibly collector status — for what it omits. Hallmark's 2013 “Holiday Sweater” keepsake ornament (shown) is colorful and bright, and includes a stanza from the popular Christmas carol "Deck the Halls" that refers to donning “gay” apparel. But, instead of using the potentially offensive word “gay,” the folks at Hallmark decided to have the sweater ornament read, “Don we now our fun apparel,” and therein lies the complaint of some homosexuals.

The Associated Press reported that Hallmark was inundated with comments from gays and their supporters, some of whom “said they would never again buy Hallmark merchandise and that the change amounted to the company rewriting Christmas classics in the name of political correctness,” reported AP. “Others suggested removing the word 'gay' demonstrated a homophobic bias.”

One man wrote on Hallmark's Facebook page that “there is nothing wrong with the word ‘Gay.' It can mean fun, happy, excited, exuberant ... and it refers to gay people.... There’s nothing wrong with either! Bad Hallmark! Bad!” Another wrote that “our GAY family will [return] any Hallmark cards received.”

Mitch Levine of the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Kansas City, where Hallmark is headquartered, quipped that the “whole thing seems silly to us. No one was offended by that in the song and the change was not necessary.”

A Hallmark spokesperson explained that the word on the ornament was intentionally changed to prevent any misinterpretation by shoppers. “When the lyrics to 'Deck the Halls' were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800s, the word 'gay' meant festive or merry,” said Hallmark's Kristi Ernsting, painfully explaining the obvious. “Today it has multiple meanings ... the trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that, so the planning team decided to say what we meant: 'fun.'”

Huffington Post noted that Hallmark is not the first entity to face backlash for deleting the politically charged word from the popular holiday song. “In 2011, a music teacher at Michigan's Knoll Elementary School opted to replace 'gay apparel' with 'bright apparel' when first and second grade students kept giggling during preparations for a holiday concert,” reported the online news site. “Parents and fellow educators felt differently, however, and inundated the school's Facebook page with angry reactions.”

Similar angry reactions prompted Hallmark to release a mea culpa shortly after putting the harmless ornament on store shelves. “We've been surprised at the wide range of reactions expressed about the change of lyrics on this ornament, and we're sorry to have caused so much concern,” Hallmark said on October 31. “We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products and in hindsight, we realize we shouldn't have changed the lyrics on the ornament.”

But Peter LaBarbera of the Chicago-based Americans for Truth About Homosexuality felt differently, coming to the defense of the suddenly beleaguered greeting card company. “Who could blame Hallmark for changing the Christmas carol from 'Don we now our gay apparel' to 'Don we now our fun apparel' because homosexual activists stole the word 'gay,'” LaBarbera told One News Now. “It used to mean 'happy' and 'joyful' — and now it means, basically, identifying a sexual perversion: homosexuality. So I don't blame Hallmark for making this change.”

Noting that homosexual activists also “stole” the rainbow as their own symbol, LaBarbera said that “I don't believe we should let these words go, but it looks like 'gay' is too far gone. We're not going to let the rainbow be used solely as a homosexual symbol, so we're going to fight that.”

Photo of Hallmark "sweater ornament": AP Images

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