Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have drawn harsh criticism from several celebrities including Elton John after making comments supporting traditional families and opposing assisted reproduction.
The openly homosexual duo, a couple until 2005, have focused their two recent collections on families and mothers in particular, sending a pregnant model and models with their children down the runway. And in an interview with the Italian fashion magazine Panorama, the duo supported traditional families.
“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,” they said. “We oppose gay adoptions.”
Dolce also called children born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) “children of chemistry, synthetic children.”
In response, Elton John used Instagram to call for a boycott on the designers, whose apparel he formerly wore. He called the comments “judgmental” and started the hashtag “#BoycottDolceGabbana.” John has two sons through IVF with his partner David Furnish.
“How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic,’” John said. “Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana again.”
John’s hashtag has been used in about 30,000 tweets, the BBC reported. And homosexual celebrities like tennis great Martina Navratilova and singer Ricky Martin also used social media to rebuke Dolce and Gabbana. Martin, the father of twins born via surrogate, told the designers to “wake up” and stop spreading hate.
But the designers have continued to hold fast to their statements.
Dolce said his Sicilian upbringing in a traditional family fomented his views on family, though he accepts the legitimacy of non-traditional families. “I was talking about my personal view without judging other people’s choices and decisions,” he said on Instagram.
While recognizing other opinions, Dolce and Gabbana have upheld their right to express theirs. “We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it,” they said in a statement issued on Instagram.
Gabanna also started a counter-campaign using the hashtag “#BoycottEltonJohn” and posted several Instagram pictures supporting his position. One image referenced the Charlie Hebdo attacks, stating “Je Suis D&G.” But the counter-hashtag has only been tweeted about 1,500 times, BBC reported. A similar hashtag “SupportDolceGabbana” has only been tweeted about 2,700 times.
Dolce and Gabbana aren’t the only non-heterosexuals to face backlash for their opinion.
Robert Oscar Lopez, openly bisexual and raised by lesbian parents, earned a place on the Human Rights Campaign’s blacklist for his belief that children should be raised in traditional families. While he believes homosexual couples can be foster parents, he said his position focuses on children’s rights. He has a wife and two children.
Lopez believes his upbringing left him missing a parent, confused about his sexuality, and struggling in healthy relationships with the opposite sex, WORLD reported. His experience matches new research suggesting children raised in homosexual households face increased risk of emotional and behavioral problems.
“My refrain has been, for years: children have an inalienable right to a mother and father, cannot be bought or sold, and are entitled to know their origins,” Lopez said in September. “Whether it is straight people or gay people using divorce, surrogacy, trafficking, or any other means to deny people these rights, I oppose it.”
— by Courtney Crandell