27 March 2015
Hannah Roberts in Rome
Italian bishops defend Dolce and Gabbana
Italian bishops have expressed their support for Dolce and Gabbana after the fashion designers found themselves under attack for defending the traditional family.
Domenico Dolce had provoked fury for calling children born through IVF “synthetic” and saying that as a gay man, he had to accept he could not have children.
In an interview with Italy’s Panorama magazine, he criticised surrogacy as “wombs for rent, sperm chosen from a catalogue”.
He said: “When you are born you have a father and a mother, or at least it should be that way.” He then added: “I am gay, I can’t have children. I believe we cannot have everything in life.”
Singer Elton John who has two children born through a surrogate mother, swiftly called for a boycott of the designers’ brand.
But the pair responded by terming John “fascist”. They later apologised and said that they had made a mistake using the word “synthetic”. But they insisted that Mr Dolce was entitled to his opinion, which was rooted in his traditional upbringing in Sicily.
Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops, condemned the backlash against the designers as a “furious assault characterised by low punches, threats and excessive verbal acts as well as a hostile campaign played out in the media and on social networks”.
Meanwhile SIR, the press agency of the bishops, said that the designers’ traditionalist opinion was welcomed by families “where there is a mother and a father”. The designers had broken the “last taboo”, it said, adding that “those that think that a baby needs a mother and a father are unfairly labelled old fashioned, obstructive, and fascist”.
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