Updated Dec 16, 2019

Hallmark Channel reverses decision to pull same-sex couple commercial

The Hallmark Channel has apologized and reversed a decision made at the request of a Christian mothers group to pull a commercial showing a same-sex couple kissing, its CEO said in a statement to news outlets including Axios Sunday.

Driving the news: The channel faced a social media backlash and calls for a boycott after pulling the ad, which the company said before the backflip was "distracting from the purpose of our network," per CNN.

  • Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is openly gay, said of the decision to pull the commercial, "Families are built on love — no matter what they look like. Being 'family friendly' means honoring love, not censoring difference. This truth will be more important than ever as we rebuild our nation into a place defined by belonging, not by exclusion."

Background: The commercial was one of many ads from online wedding planning service Zola.

  • The only difference between the commercial that was pulled and others that were approved by the network was that two women kissed in the flagged version, according to Zola. The alternate commercial showed a heterosexual couple doing the same.
  • The removal was sparked by a campaign from One Million Moms, which claimed in a statement: "Until recently, Hallmark had a good record for keeping their movies and commercials family friendly. Now, parents can no longer trust Hallmark because Hallmark is no longer allowing parents to be the primary educators when it comes to sex and sexual morality."
  • Hallmark wrote in a statement earlier that "debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value."

Read the statement:

Go deeper: Chick-fil-A's charity will no longer donate to anti-LGBTQ organizations

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details on Hallmark Channel's reversal and comment from Buttigieg.

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U.S. cities crackdown on protests against police brutality

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Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of protesters gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

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President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.

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George Floyd protests: What you need to know

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Curfews are being imposed in Portland, Oregon, and Cincinnati, while the governors of Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Texas activated the National Guard following unrest in the states, per AP.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.