You can't get much more heartland-American than Hallmark, so it was quite a pleasant surprise in the summer of 2008 when the Kansas City-based company introduced a line of greeting cards to celebrate same-sex marriage and commitment ceremonies. Small, independently owned card companies already had such cards, but having the nation's largest greeting card company jump on board, and relatively early on, was somewhat of a ringing endorsement (however, its stores were not required to carry them). Perhaps the impetus was California's legalizing same-sex marriage a few months earlier - as short lived as it would be (but then re-instituted in the summer of 2013). This came five years after Brides's Magazine, Conde Nast's revered wedding "bible", ran a full page article on same-sex weddings.
Nearly four years later, in May 2012, shortly after President Obama publicly endorsed same-sex unions, Target came out with a line of same-sex wedding cards created by Carlton Cards, a division of American Greetings (which touts itself as the world's largest public greeting card company, as opposed to the much larger Hallmark, which is privately held).