Hallmark Cards will sell two new designs of greeting cards for Mother's Day this year for families headed by lesbian households.
"Moms do it all and they do it with ease, from helping with homework to bandaging knees. They're coaches and confidantes, role models, too...whatever it takes they'll do. When it comes to big hearts, moms are second to none," the exterior of one card states, before rhetorically asking on the inside "How does anyone ever get by with just one?"
Hallmark offers 900 Mother's Day card designs.
Another design, which Hallmark spokesperson Kristi Ernsting suggested was also geared at female same-sex couples included the line "So happy I get to share this day with you — my partner, my love, my best friend."
Hallmark's designs come at a time when same-sex marriage has been legalized in 17 states, including Massachusetts where it was first recognized a decade ago. Despite Hallmark's Director of Editorial, Andre du Broc's suggestions three years ago that the greeting card company would start an exclusively LGBT line, the company has treaded slowly into the market.
Speaking with NPR in 2011, du Broc said that his company had taken "baby steps" and pointed to several "coming out" cards it had released in 2007 and same-sex wedding cards that showed up in stores following California's (brief) legalization of gay marriage in 2008.
"They're performing on par with our regular wedding cards. So we're validated there that people do want these," he continued.
Hallmark offered several cards to LGBT couples for Valentine's Day this year, which Ernsting noted were "well received."
Not all agreed with her appraisal. A columnist at TIME magazine criticized the greeting card company for only introducing one Valentine's Day option for each gender of same-sex couples.
"The top three cards [on Hallmark's LGBT page] were ones you can customize — Hallmark's way of saying, 'Ah, do it yourself, give us your money and leave us alone' — but the examples and the images provided were all of and for opposite-sex couples," wrote Steve Freiss, who was frustrated at the lack of options. "For some reason, two of the mere 14 options were cards that invited you to write your name on the unsightly business end of an elephant's behind."
According to NBC, Both Hallmark and its primary competitor American Greetings "have cards for same-sex weddings and anniversaries, although American Greetings said it has not added Mother's Day cards specific to the same-sex demographic."
American Greetings spokeswoman Patrice Saad said that their company had not elected to create LGBT-specific cards "because [with Mother's Day] really it's about a one-to-one relationship. You have a unique relationship with both [parents]."