Claims "family values," like fashion, are changeable
The designers who founded the Italian fashion firm Dolce & Gabbana are under attack for speaking out in defense of certain elements of traditional family values, and gay British pop singer Elton John is leading a boycott of their products.
Though they were in a romantic same-sex relationship for 23 years, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, in an interview with the Italian Panorama magazine, spoke out against the adoption of children by same-sex couples, affirming that children need to be reared by a mother and a father.
"We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one,” they said.
Dolce stated that procreation "must be an act of love," saying, "You are born to a mother and a father—or at least that’s how it should be…. I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalog."
Gabbana added: "The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging."
John, whose two children were conceived using in vitro fertilization, took umbrage and compared their viewpoints to changing fashions.
"How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic,’” he commented online. "And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF, a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.”
John, who “married” long-time civil partner David Furnish last December, added: "Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again."
Gabbana responded online, "It is simply arrogant not to tolerate those who think like him! poor thing! We live in a democratic country and respect the ideas of others."
Apparently, though, many people in entertainment agree with John and are jumping on his bandwagon. “Today” show co-host Al Roker said in a tweet, “In spite of what @dolcegabbana think, my beautiful IVF children are not ‘synthetic children.” Singer Ricky Martin, who has twin sons, tweeted, “ur voices R 2powerfull 2B spreading so much h8 http://bit.ly/1CiY63B Wake up,Its 2015.” And Courtney Love sent out a tweet saying, “Just round up all my Dolce & Gabbana pieces, I want to burn them…. Boycott senseless bigotry!”
The Telegraph added some backstory to the spat:
Despite the views expressed about "synthetic" children, Gabbana disclosed in 2006 that he had asked a female friend to be a surrogate mother for his child.
The designer told an Italian newspaper: "I want my own child, a biological child conceived through artificial insemination."
He said he had asked his friend, who was 12 years younger, to help and said she "thought it was a great idea".
The comments were made the year after he split up with Dolce, having embarked on a new relationship.
But he said he did not want his child to have two gay parents, adding: "I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents.
"A child needs a mother and a father. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother."
The designers issued a statement Sunday saying their comments weren’t intended to judge the choices made by others. "It was never our intention to judge other people’s choices. We do believe in freedom and love," they said.