Londoners oppose anti-IVF Dolce & Gabbana

Old Bond Street store picketed. Call for boycott of D&G

Billionaire designers delight Vatican, far right & homophobes

New research shows that kids with gay parents do well in life

London – 19 March 2015

Sixty protesters rallied outside Dolce and Gabbana’s flagship London store in Old Bond Street at lunchtime today, Thursday 19 March.

PHOTOS of the protest:
Free use, no charge. Please credit: Peter Tatchell Foundation

“We’re supporting the boycott D&G campaign and defending same-sex parents and their kids against the outrageous claim that the children are chemical and synthetic. Such ill-informed, bigoted opinions cannot be allowed to pass unchallenged. Dolce and Gabbana should know better than echo the homophobia of the Vatican and Europe’s far right parties,” said LGBT rights and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation and co-organiser of today’s protest.

“Their comments are not only an attack on same-sex parents but on all parents who’ve had children with the aid of fertility treatment, including thousands of heterosexual couples.

“We hope today’s picket will inspire similar protests at D&G stores worldwide. We want to send a message to Dolce and Gabbana, and to all homophobes everywhere, that bigotry has a price. They cannot expect to get away with disrespecting same-sex couples and their children.

“It is hypocritical for Stefano Gabbana to oppose gay parents, given that in 2006 he expressed a desire to be a gay dad and have a child via artificial insemination and surrogacy. He’s guilty of double standards. Gabbana wanted for himself what he now condemns other gay men for wanting.

“Dolce and Gabbana have been exploiting the gay market for decades. Many of their adverts are deliberately homoerotic in order to appeal to gay men. They’ve even used images of gay dads and their children to sell D&G clothes. Having made millions from the gay community, they’re now saying disrespectful things about same-sex parents and their children – and about children born to heterosexual couples who have benefited from assisted reproduction.

“Their brand will deservedly suffer significant reputational and financial damage. I hope it will act as a deterrent to others who spout ignorance and intolerance, whether it be homophobia, racism, misogyny or any other prejudice.

“Dolce and Gabbana are echoing ill-informed, outdated and homophobic prejudices about gay parents. Research spanning 40 years shows that children bought up by gay mums and dads are just as happy and well-adjusted as those from traditional heterosexual families. The key to a child’s welfare is the love of their parents, not the parent’s sexual orientation.

“They are playing into the hands of the Vatican and far right political parties that oppose gay families. Their comments are already being used by far right politicians to justify their homophobic policies against same-sex parents and their children.

“Dolce and Gabbana are entitled to their views but we are entitled to protest against them and to refuse to buy their clothes. We urge everyone – gay and straight – to boycott D&G.

“It’s intolerable for these designers to make millions out of the gay community and then turn around and insult our families. They’ve stabbed us in the back. Gay homophobes are the worst of the worst. To betray your own community is shameful,” said Mr Tatchell.

The protest was jointly organised by the Out and Proud Diamond Group and the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

Co-organiser of the protest, Edwin Sesange, director of the LGBT Out and Proud Diamond Group, added:

“We are sending a clear message to Dolce and Gabbana that same-sex families are loving, happy families. This issue is not about same-sex families alone but also about the many straight families who have benefited from fertility treatment. Dolce and Gabbana’s statements add to the stigma, shame, prejudice, rejection and intolerance often suffered by same-sex parents and their children. They should withdraw their statements and apologise.”

Kato Asadhu Kayongo, a Ugandan gay man and a member of the Out and Proud Diamond Group, added:

“Dolce and Gabbana’s comments are so damaging to our struggle for equality in Uganda and other countries that criminalise same-sex relationships. Many people adore the Dolce and Gabbana brand in these countries. Such intolerant statements undermine our struggle. They are likely to be used by anti-gay activists in Uganda and elsewhere to reinforce their homophobic stance. It is very unfortunate that designers living in a country that mostly accepts gay people don’t seem to care about the consequences of their outbursts to us who are still struggling against deep-seated prejudice and hate.”

The protest was in response to the fashion designers insulting slurs against same-sex parents and their children.

Speaking to the Italian magazine Panorama, alongside his business partner, Stefano Gabbana, Domenico Dolce said children should be born to a mother and a father:

“The only family is a traditional one. I’m not convinced by those I call the chemical children, synthetic babies…They are wombs for hire, semen chosen from a catalogue … psychiatrists are not ready to confront the effects of this experimentation.”

Stefano Gabbana added: “The family is not a fad.” In 2006, he told the Daily Mail: “I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents.”

Both designers have in the past strongly opposed same-sex marriage.