Guido Barilla, head of the eponymous Italian pasta company, has come out against LGBT equality, saying that he would never use gay people in Barilla advertising, and if anybody doesn’t like it, they can go eat another pasta. Here were the remarks he made on an Italian radio show, as translated by The Huffington Post:
BARILLA: For us, the ‘sacral family’ remains one of the company’s core values. Our family is a traditional family. If gays like our pasta and our advertisings, they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta. You can’t always please everyone not to displease anyone. I would not do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect toward homosexuals — who have the right to do whatever they want without disturbing others — but because I don’t agree with them, and I think we want to talk to traditional families. The women are crucial in this.
I respect same-sex marriage because that concerns people who want to contract marriage, but I absolutely don’t respect adoptions in gay families, because that concerns a person who is not the people who decide.”
After the interview, Barilla tweeted an apology for “offending the sensibilities of many” (via Google Translate), though he didn’t recant any of his statements. In an official statement, he clarified that he “only wanted to underline the central role of the woman in the family.”
Mirroring the U.S. response to Chick-fil-a’s anti-gay positions, Italian LGBT groups are calling for a boycott of Barilla pasta. Barilla also makes up 25 percent of the U.S. pasta market, suggesting an international response.