Fashion icons, business partners, and former romantic partners Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana recently told Panorama magazine that they oppose non-traditional families, including any form of same-sex parenting, as well as the usage of surrogate mothers and sperm donation. “We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one,” they said. “No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.”
The statements sparked a global backlash, led in part by Sir Elton John, who attacked the pair for describing his children as “synthetic” and for “wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF,” noting that many families of all orientations have relied on in vetro fertilization. Martina Navratilova, Al Roker, Ryan Murphy, Victoria Beckham, Ricky Martin, Courtney Love, and John Barrowman were among the celebrities who supported John’s call for a boycott.
Dolce and Gabbana have since tried to walk back their comments, claiming, “It was never our intention to judge other people’s choices. We do believe in freedom and love.” Dolce specifically emphasized that he grew up in a traditional Sicilian family, but he is “very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families and they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known.”
Gabbana, however, spent the weekend taking umbrage to the criticism they received on Instagram. In addition to highlighting various coverage, he reposted images attacking their positions, like one calling the pair “#Douchebags” and one renaming their perfume “Homophobe.” Another image included the message, “The way you do things is not always the only way to do them. Respect other people’s way of thinking.” He also posted an image that read “Je Suis D&G;,” borrowing the statement of solidarity echoed around the world after the terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Meanwhile, social conservatives have come to the pair’s defense. Matthew Schmitz at First Things urged conservatives to “start wearing D&G; in solidarity with these two brilliant, independent-minded Italians.” On Twitter, the Heritage Foundation’s Ryan T. Anderson defended their critique of technology like IVF, reconciling that “criticizing the misuse of technology does not equal ‘dehumanizing’ or ‘criticizing’ children, as critics claim.”
Dolce and Gabbana’s opposition gay rights is by no means new. In 2006, Gabbana expressed his opposition to same-sex parenting, and in 2013, the two rejected the idea of same-sex marriage.” They attribute their beliefs to their Catholic faith.