By Michael Nam
A pair of iconic fashion designers, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana, are feeling the heat after incendiary comments made to Italian magazine Panorama regarding families with same-gender parents.
In a translation provided by The Telegraph, they were quoted saying, “We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus. Life has a natural flow; there are things that should not be changed.”
According to The Advocate, despite the pair being gay—they ended a romantic relationship with each other in 2000—Dolce is a practicing Catholic who is opposed to same-gender marriage and Gabbana has gone on the record previously opposing same-gender parenting.
The comments this time caught the attention of Sir Elton John, who married David Furnish last December and raises two children conceived through in vitro fertilization. The singer took to Instagram to express his outrage.
How dare you refer to my beautiful children as “synthetic”. 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. Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana
Other celebrities like Martina Navratilova, Victoria Beckham, Courtney Love and Ricky Martin also sent out social-media support as John’s call to boycott spread. (BECKHAM TWEET)
Sending love to Elton David Zachary Elijah & all the beautiful IVF babies x vb — Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) March 16, 2015
Initial responses to John and other critics from the Dolce and Gabbana camps were less than conciliatory, with insults like “fascists” and appeals to “freedom of speech.” However, with the backlash still growing, it looks as if Gabbana felt the need to soften the message (though not apologize) via Instagram.
I’m Sicilian and I grew up in a traditional family, made up of a mother, a father and children. I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known. But in my personal experience, family had a different configuration. That is the place where I learnt the values of love and family. This is the reality in which I grew up, but it does not imply that I don’t understand different ones. I was talking about my personal view, without judging other people’s choices and decisions.
It is unclear how calling infants conceived through IVF “children of chemistry, synthetic children” could be construed as being non-judgmental.