Hallmark Debuts Their First Christmas Movie Starring A Gay Couple

Sometimes progress happens in the places you least expect it! You don't always expect a place like the Hallmark Channel to be leading a charge when it comes to social movements, but this year, they made history by debuting their first Hallmark Christmas movie with a gay couple, and we could not be happier!

Hallmark Christmas movies are a staple of the season.

It's just not Christmas if you can't curl up on your couch under a big blanket with a mug of hot chocolate and watch so-cheesy-but-so-good Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Hallmark hasn't always had a spotless history, though.

In 2019, the channel got in hot water for airing Zola commercials that featured same-sex couples.

Initially, after receiving backlash, Hallmark pulled the commercials from their network, but later declared that that was the "wrong decision."

Hallmark said in a statement that pulling the commercials didn't reflect what they believed.

Unsplash | freestocks

"Our mission is rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions, and be inspired to capture meaningful moments in their lives. Anything that detracts from this purpose is not who we are," the statement said.

They stuck to that by announcing in July of this year that they would be including LGBTQ+ storylines in their Christmas films in 2020.

At the time, George Zaralidis, VP of network publicity for the Crown Media Family, made a statement saying, "We look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors."

At the time, he said that diversity and inclusion were "top priorities" for the network.

They definitely stuck to their word, because this year, they premiered their first holiday movie ever that featured a gay couple.

The Christmas House features a storyline involving two married men who are anxiously awaiting to find out the status of their application to adopt a child.

This definitely is a huge step for the channel!

Jonathan Bennett, who you might recognize from Mean Girls, stars as one half of the first same-sex couple in a Hallmark Christmas movie in The Christmas House, which premiered on November 22. He said of the role, "I imagine what this would have meant to younger me, to see two men who are in a loving relationship, going through the process of adopting a baby to start a family of their own…"

"That is such a great story of unconditional love."

"And they are doing it with their family, which is so important to me. I wish I had a movie like this to watch when I was younger. I’m hoping all the young Jonathans, sitting there watching this with their family and parents, they might feel a little more seen and they are going to feel a little less scared this Christmas.”

“It was really important for me to play this role because I have played so many different parts on Hallmark Channel.”

[Instagram | @jonathandbennett]

“I’ve been in a ton of movies. I’ve been part of the Hallmark family for years. But, this year, I get to play something that’s more authentic to me individually. All we are doing is making the Hallmark holiday table that much bigger this Christmas," Jonathan explained.

The movie has already been a big hit with fans.

"As a gay couple hoping to also be a family of three next year (we are in also a similar same stage of waiting for adoption), this one is tugging at our heart strings right now," one fan shared.

There have also been a lot of fans defending the decision to include LGBTQ+ storylines in their movies.

"To all the people saying they're boycotting Hallmark for finally having some LGBTQ+ representation, stop using the “It’s a family channel” argument, because guess what? Gay people ALSO have families, so it’s STILL A FAMILY CHANNEL," one fan wrote.

It's awesome that Hallmark is inviting even more families to their table this year!

We love to see this kind of progress!

Did you catch The Christmas House on The Hallmark Channel this year? Did you love it? Let us know how you feel in the comments below!