March 16, 2015 at 4:20 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Gay celebrities, advocates back Dolce&Gabbana boycott

Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana, Dolce & Gabbana, gay news, Washington Blade

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana (Photo by newsonline; courtesy Flickr)

Elton John is among those who support a boycott of gay fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s label over their controversial comments about children conceived through in vitro fertilization.

“You are born and you have a father and a mother, or at least it should be so,” said Dolce during an interview that Panorama, an Italian website, featured in its March 12 issue. “You cannot convince me of what I call children of chemistry, and synthetic children: Wombs for rent, seeds selected from a catalog.”

“Then go on to explain to these children who is the mother,” he added. “Would she agree to be the daughter of chemistry? Procreation must be an act of love; now even psychiatrists are prepared to deal with the effects of these experiments.”

Gabbana told Panorama that he and Dolce “understand that the family is not a fad.”

“It is a sense of the supernatural,” said Gabbana.

John, whose two children with his husband, David Furnish, were conceived through in vitro fertilization, blasted the gay Italian designers on his Instagram account.

“How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic,’” wrote John, using the hashtag #BoycottDolceGabbana. “And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF — a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfill 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.”

Gay singer Ricky Martin, whose twin boys were born to a surrogate mother, used the same hashtag in a tweet that criticized Dolce and Gabbana. Retired tennis player Martina Navratilova in a separate tweet said her “D&G shirts are going in the bin — don’t want anyone to wear them.”

Imma Battaglia of the Gay Project, an Italian LGBT advocacy group, also supports calls to boycott Dolce&Gabbana.

She noted to the Washington Blade on Monday the men were once a couple and they publicly promoted their relationship.

“It appears to have been very convenient for D&G to show off their gay couple when it was something new to build part of their career upon,” said Battaglia. “Today, making statements in sharp contrast towards a world that’s been fighting against discrimination for years, especially Italy, where there is no protection for our families and for the children with homosexual parents, is quite serious.”

“No apology will ever be enough,” she added. “We shall just boycott them forever.”

Yuri Guaiana of Certi Diritti, a group that advocates for marriage rights for same-sex couples in Italy, in a statement he released on Monday also backed calls to boycott Dolce&Gabbana.

Guaiana noted to the Blade the editorial director of the label’s magazine has resigned because of the controversy.

“Their attack on IVF, surrogacy and the progress of science as a way of enhancing the individual freedom of all is despicable,” he said.

Designers ‘believe in freedom and love’

The Associated Press on Sunday reported that Dolce and Gabbana appeared to backtrack from their comments.

“It was never our intention to judge other people’s choices,” said Gabbana in a statement, according to the AP. “We do believe in freedom and love.”

The AP reported that Dolce said his statements on the family stem from his experience growing up in a traditional family in Sicily “made up of a mother, a father and children.”

“I am very well aware of the fact that there are other types of families,” said Dolce, according to AP. “And they are as legitimate as the one I’ve known.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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