In the news this week...
- Hallmark Offers Gay 'Marriage' Cards
Hallmark Greeting Cards has four designs of same-sex 'marriage' cards that are being released this summer, even though same-sex 'marriage' is legal in only two states — California and Massachusetts. Hallmark says the purpose is to satisfy consumer demand. "It's our goal to be as relevant as possible to as many people as we can," Hallmark spokeswoman Sarah Gronberg Kolell said. The wording inside the card is neutral making them suitable for either a commitment or a wedding ceremony.
Approximately 85,000 same-sex couples in the United States entered into a legal relationship when Hawaii started offering some legal benefits to same-sex partners in 1997. In the next three years, it is estimated nearly 120,000 more couples will marry in California. This means millions of potential dollars for a variety of wedding-industry businesses.
American Greetings Corp., Hallmark's largest competitor, says its current offerings are general enough to speak to a lot of different relationships and has no plans to enter the same-sex 'marriage' card market. [yahoo.com, citizenlink.org]
- Feds Work to Protect Doctors' Religious Freedoms
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released information last week about a proposed new rule that would strengthen protection for medical professionals who refuse to perform abortions for moral and religious reasons. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said that health care professionals should not face retaliation from employers or from medical societies because they object to abortion. "Freedom of conscience is not to be surrendered upon issuance of a medical degree," said Leavitt. "This nation was built on a foundation of free speech. The first principle of free speech is protected conscience." [worldnetdaily.com, cbsnews.com]