Update 3/18/15: Today, Madonna — who counts Dolce & Gabbana as friends and has modeled for the house several times — Instagrammed: “All babies contain a soul however they come to this earth and their families. There is nothing synthetic about a soul!! So how can we dismiss IVF and surrogacy? Every soul comes to us to teach us a lesson. God has his hand in everything even technology! We are arrogant to think Man does anything on his own. As above so below! Think before you speak.,,,,,,,,,,,❤️#livingforlove”
Update 3/16/15: Today, in response to Elton John’s heated rebuke of Dolce & Gabbana’s comments against LGBT families, Stefano Gabbana spoke with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. He said, “I didn’t expect this, coming from someone whom I considered, and I stress ‘considered,’ an intelligent person like Elton John. I mean, you preach understanding, tolerance and then you attack others?…It’s an authoritarian way of seeing the world: agree with me or, if you don’t, I’ll attack you. I even posted the word ‘Fascist!’ on his Instagram.” Read the full interview here.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana — design partners for decades and a couple for 23 years until splitting in 2005 — have come out against a number of LGBT ideals in an interview with Panorama, an Italian news magazine. The cover line, Viva la Famiglia (Tradizionale), sums it up.
In what some think may be a PR stunt, a continuation of the motherhood theme of their recent fall collection, which included the visibly pregnant model Bianca Balti, they said (in Italian): “The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offspring and rented womb. Life has a natural flow. There are things that should not be changed.” Procreation “must be an act of love,” Dolce goes on to say. “I call children of chemistry synthetic children: wombs [for] rent, semen chosen from a catalog.” “The family is not a fad,” adds Gabbana. “In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.”
Over the years the two appear to have come down on both sides of the same-sex family issue. They’ve previously opposed gay marriage, telling London’s The Telegraph in 2013 they’d never marry each other, laughing at the question. “I don’t believe in gay marriage,” Dolce affirmed. And in 2006, Gabbana told the Daily Mail, “I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents.” However, they posed for a family-style portrait on the cover of Italian Vanity Fair in 2005, while inside Gabbana revealed his desire to become a father, saying, “Yes, I am a son. I would do it.”
The duo’s most recent comments have incurred a swift backlash from the LGBT community, who are understandably sensitive to the kind of self-loathing and self-denial that generations of gay men and women around the world have struggled to overcome. Late Saturday night, David Furnish wrote on Facebook: “Being able to have children is single-handedly the greatest joy Elton [John, his husband] and I have ever experienced. I find Dolce and Gabbana referring to my sons as ‘synthetic’ deeply offensive, bigoted, hurtful and divisive.”
That was followed early Sunday by a stronger Instagram message from Elton John: “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic.’ And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF [in vitro fertilization] – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil 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. #BoycottDolceGabbana”
In response, Stefano Gabbana Instagrammed “#boycotteltonjhon” (sic), “Fascist!” and “You hate the different opinion!! Racist Dictators” with a lot of emotional emoji. With both camps seeing a swell of public support — celebrities, however, are siding with Elton John: Courtney Love, Victoria Beckham, Ricky Martin — it seems the high-profile feud will continue for a while.