The Hallmark Channel — primary purveyor of white, heteronormative, formulaic romance tales for the holiday season — pulled, and then apologized for pulling, an ad featuring two women kissing at their wedding. This made a pretty clear statement about where Hallmark genuinely stands on basic acceptance... but in the end, they did wind up issuing an apology. So at least there's that.

The ruckus began last week, when the network axed four ads featuring same-sex couples, one of which you can watch below—it features two women, standing at the altar and effusing not about one another, but this online registry's many convenient services. Pretty regular stuff, if maybe not the most romantic in terms of nuptial speeching, but that is just one writer's opinion. Anyway, the brides kiss, and you get to see it, and that appears to be what sent the Christian contingent over the edge.

According to CBS, Hallmark pulled the ads in question after One Million Moms, a far-right cohort of God-fearing mothers whom Boing Boing described (correctly, I think) as a "coterie of Karens," complained to Bill Abbott, the CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, owner of the Hallmark Channel. Which is to say, the Karens demanded to speak to the manager, and then they threatened a boycott. In a post on its website, the group remarked that, while Hallmark's content is "usually safe for family viewing," that sense of personal security had been UNDERMINED by the sight of two women sharing a brief and pretty buttoned-up kiss. The post quoted other viewers of a similar mind, one of whom spoke for the whole group when she said they felt "fed up with having the gay agenda crammed down [their] throats," and during a heartwarming Hallmark story of straight love, at that.

I am largely unfamiliar with the genre but as I understand it, Hallmark's whole thing is chaste hometown edging — like you encounter your high school sweetheart at the local Christmas market while Home For The Holidays, but this time you're two adult foxes with cozy scarves and tragically deceased spouses, so it's totally acceptable to share a climactic, life-binding peck before Christ (after you've both excised past trauma and weathered a zany miscommunication and embraced one another's sons, that is).

These moms, whose parent organization (American Family Association) the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group, really seem like they would be Hallmark's most reliable demographic. And so, Hallmark removed four of Zola's six ads, leaving only the straight people ones, prompting Zola to pull out of the partnership. This prompted widespread criticism and another boycott, this time from everyone else.

Including Ellen DeGeneres, who requested answers of both Hallmark and Abbott in a viral tweet.

Hallmark, for its part, explained on Friday that it had simply made the "decision not to air overt public displays of affection in our sponsored advertisement, regardless of the participants," because showing you an absolutely tongueless kiss that lasts like three seconds would violate the company's "current policy, which includes not featuring political advertisements, offensive language, R-rated movie content, and many other categories."

Mike Chi, the chief marketing officer of Zola, shared the company's theory with the NY Times, noting that "the only difference between the commercials that were flagged and the ones that were approved was ... a lesbian couple kissing. Hallmark approved a commercial where a heterosexual couple kissed."

"All kisses, couples, and marriages are equal celebrations of love," Chi continued, "and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark.”

Before too long, Netflix — the brand account for which has been very well attuned to internet culture lately — had even gotten in on the action, tweeting a reminder that it also has "Titles Featuring Lesbians Joyfully Existing And Also It’s Christmas Can We Just Let People Love Who They Love ."

On Sunday, Crown Media Family Networks issued a statement explaining that "Hallmark is, and always has been, committed to diversity and inclusion – both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create." They'll be working with GLAAD "to better represent the LGBTQ community across [their] portfolio of brands," the statement said, and "reaching out to Zola to reestablish [their] partnership and reinstate the commercials." Zola has reportedly not decided whether or not it will accept.

"The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused," Mike Perry, President and CEO, Hallmark Cards, Inc., stated. "Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision. 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. We are truly sorry  for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”

The Karens will, presumably, have more to say about this.