Milan, Italy, Mar 18, 2015 / 23:08 pm
The designers behind luxury Italian fashion label Dolce & Gabbana triggered a barrage of controversy after expressing support for traditional marriage and families last weekend in an interview with the Italian magazine Panorama.
On Monday, six children (now adults) raised by same-sex parents in the United States wrote a letter supporting the designers, thanking them for speaking up for the rights of children to both a mother and a father.
"Every human being has a mother and a father, and to cut either from a child's life is to rob the child of dignity, humanity, and equality," the letter reads.
The signers said Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who are openly gay, expressed what they've learned through their own life experience, which is that while gay parents can be very loving, children are best supported when raised by a mother and a father.
Even though some of the signers are themselves gay, they all raise their children with their opposite-sex parents.
"We know that gay parents can be loving, since we loved our parents and they loved us," they wrote.
"Nonetheless, we have all had firsthand experience with the harsh backlash that follows when the dominant view of 'gay parenting' as universally positive is questioned."
The letter was published on the blog askthebigot.com, whose main author calls herself the "bigot". The author was raised by her mother and her mother's same-sex partner. She converted to Christianity in high school, and now writes about being raised within a same-sex home, and about how voices like hers are almost always silenced by the powerful gay lobby.
In her blog's description, she writes: "The discussion about gay marriage deserves more than the one-liner and bumper sticker jabs that both sides lob into the debate. Having been raised by my mother who is in a same-sex relationship, this is my attempt to present my thoughts unapologetically but with sensitivity and fairness. Thanks for reading."
Those who receive the most vicious attacks from the gay lobby are often those within the gay community themselves who dare to speak out in favor of traditional marriages and families, the letter notes. Still, even though the attacks will be fierce and their business will likely take a hit, the signers encouraged Dolce and Gabbana to stand by their comments regardless.
"If you back down from what you said and apologize, it will leave the children of gay homes even more vulnerable and discredited," the letter reads. "It is important for our sake, for the sake of Italian children as well, that you not apologize or capitulate."
The comments from Dolce and Gabbana that sparked the firestorm were that the "family is not a fad" that society has "invented ourselves." In addition to supporting traditional marriage, the couple condemned the use of artificial means of contraception, such as in-vitro fertilization, and said that pro-creation should be an "act of love" rather than an "experiment."
"We, a gay couple, say no to gay adoptions. Enough chemical children and wombs for rent. Children should have a mother and a father," the pair told the magazine.
Their comments brought about significant backlash from several celebrities, most prominently from singer-songwriter and gay parent Elton John, who called their views "archaic" and started a campaign against the pair with #BoycottDolceGabbana.
The Italian designers responded that they were just stating their personal views rather than judging people.
"We firmly believe in democracy and the fundamental principle of freedom of expression that upholds it," Gabbana said in a statement. "We talked about our way of seeing reality, but it was never our intention to judge other people's choices. We do believe in freedom and love."
The six signers of the letter on the blog include Heather Barwick, contributor to Federalist; Rivka Edelman, co-author of Jephthah's Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family Equality; Katy Faust, writer at asktheBigot; Robert Oscar Lopez, co-author of Jephthah's Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family Equality; Denise Shick, author of My Daddy's Secret; and Dawn Stefanowicz, author of Fuori Dal Buio: La Mia Vita Con Un Padre Gay.
Each of the signers plan on penning a letter to the United States Supreme Court, which is set to rule on gay marriage this summer, and said that the comments from Dolce and Gabbana provided inspiration.