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Hallmark Channel will feature LGBTQ stories in Christmas movies

The Hallmark Channel will air LGBTQ stories in its holiday movies starting this year.

The holiday season will bring 40 new stories to the annual “Countdown to Christmas” and “Miracles of Christmas” lineups, including movies with LGBTQ storylines.

The decision comes after online backlash at Hallmark’s newly announced slate of Christmas movies that appeared to lack LGBTQ representation.

Since then, the channel has re-affirmed its dedication to diversity and inclusion in its films.

“Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement.

“We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”

“Countdown to Christmas” kicks off the holiday season on Oct. 23 on the Hallmark Channel, with 23 new, original Christmas films set to debut. “Miracles of Christmas'” on Hallmark's sister channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, will also start on Oct. 23 and will premiere 17 new movies.