Jonathan Bennett might be the first person who moved to Palm Springs because of fried chicken. During a sojourn from Los Angeles, the 41-year-old actor best known as the dreamy young love interest in Mean Girls and more recently as a stalwart Hallmark Channel player was dining with his now-husband at Chicken Ranch in Uptown Palm Springs when they made the decision to relocate here.

“I turned to my husband when we were having lunch after talking to Mike [Smith], the owner, and said, ‘Is this what it feels like to be a straight couple in every other small town in America?’ ” recalls Bennett, who grew up in itty-bitty Rossford, Ohio. “It was inspiring to be part of a majority in a small town. It felt so comfortable. We knew at that moment, this is where we had to live…”

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