Much of the world’s gay and lesbian community has turned against two of its former leading lights, fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
The openly gay duo have been widely condemned for their recent backward comments about same-sex families.
On Thursday, a group of around 60 activists rallied outside Dolce and Gabbana’s flagship London store in Old Bond Street. They held up rainbow flags and signs with slogans like “Our love lasts, not your fashion” and “put labels on clothes, not families.”
“Dolce and Gabbana should know better than echo the homophobia of the Vatican and Europe’s far right parties,” said LGBT human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, one of the organisers of the protest.
He accused the designers of “exploiting the gay market for decades” and “stabbing [the LGBT community] in the back,” pointing out that 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.
“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,” explained Tatchell.
Kato Asadhu Kayongo, a Ugandan gay man and a member of the Out and Proud Diamond Group, who participated in the protest, argued that, “Dolce and Gabbana’s comments are so damaging to our struggle for equality in Uganda and other countries that criminalise same-sex relationships.”
He added: “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.”
Madonna in a 2010 Dolce and Gabbana campaign
Meanwhile, pop star Madonna, who has been a long-time personal friend of the designers and a former face of the luxury label, took to Instagram to speak out against their homophobia.
“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?” she asked.
“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…” Madonna urged.
The fashion icons sparked outrage and a boycott after they recently told Panorama magazine that they “oppose gay adoptions” and that gay families are “a fad.”
They also claimed that, “The only family is the traditional one” and described children born through surrogacy and IVF as “children of chemistry, synthetic children.”