Hallmark has received a barrage of criticism over a eyebrow-raising tweak to the lyrics of the popular carol "Deck the Halls" on one of its 2013 Keepsake ornaments, but one right-wing pundit feels the company's decision was justifiable.
In an interview with One News Now, Peter LaBarbera of the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality defended Hallmark's "Holiday Sweater" ornament, which removes the word "gay" from a line in "Deck the Halls" and is emblazoned with the phrase, "Don we now our FUN apparel."
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 said. "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."
Accusing "homosexual activists" of appropriating the word "gay" similarly to how "they stole the rainbow," LaBarbera continued, "Now, 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."
He then concluded, "Homosexual activists are constantly stealing good things and adapting them to suit their sexual perversion."
Last week, a Hallmark official told The Huffington Post in an email that the word "gay" had been changed to "fun" on the ornament in an effort to prevent "misinterpretation" from holiday shoppers.
"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,'" Kristi Ernsting said at the time. "That's the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it."
Company officials updated its statement later in the week, saying it was surprised "at the wide range of reactions expressed about the change of lyrics" on the ornament.
"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," the statement read.