Creators of the luxury Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana sparked global controversy over the weekend after coming out in defense of marriage, saying that children have the right to a mother and a father. “The family is not a fad,” said co-founder of the fashion empire, Stefano Gabbana, in an interview with the Italian Magazine Panorama. “In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging.” Sharing this view with his business and former romantic partner, Domenico Dolce told the magazine: “We didn't invent the family ourselves.” Dolce and Gabbana, who are openly gay, went on to say children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, and condemned the use of artificial means of conception, such as In-vitro fertilization. The Italian-born fashion duo also spoke out against the use of surrogate mothers by gay couples who are seeking to have a child, referring to practice as “wombs for rent.” Dolce referred to those conceived through artificial means as “chemical children: synthetic children. Uterus' for rent, semen chosen from a catalog. And later you go and explain to these children who the mother is.” To procreate should be an “act of love,” Dolce continued, adding that psychologists today are not ready to come face to face with the effects of “these experiments.” “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. Published Mar. 12, the remarks spurred public outcry from the gay community and it supporters, prompting musician Elton John and other public figures to boycott the fashion designers. In response, Dolce & Gabbana released a statement Sunday saying they meant no offense with their remarks. This is not the first time the pair has expressed their opposition to gay marriage, having made their position known during a 2013 interview with the Telegraph. “I don't believe in gay marriage,” said Dolce, who told the U.K. newspaper he was a practicing Catholic. Dolce and Gabbana are not the first openly gay public figures to express opposition to gay marriage or parenthood. In a 2012 interview with the Sunday Times, British actor Rupert Everett is quoted as saying he “can't think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads.” It's not unheard of for European men and women living homosexual lifestyles to openly oppose same-sex marriage. Recent legislation in France to legalize gay marriage sparked massive protests throughout the country, with many gay men and women joining the debate to defend traditional marriage. During Friday's interview, Dolce and Gabbana — who, until 2005, had been romantically involved with one another — were asked if they had wanted to be parents. “Yes, I would do it immediately,” Gabbana responded, with Dolce adding that, because he is gay, he could not have fathered a child with his partner. “You can’t have everything in life,” he said. “It’s also beautiful to be deprived of something. Life has a natural course; there are things that cannot be modified. The family is one of them.” During Friday's interview, Dolce said that the issue of family “not a question of religion or social status, there are no two ways about it: you are born and there is a father and a mother. Or at least there should be.” The luxury industry fashion house was founded by the two designers in 1985. Dolce was born in Palermo in 1958, and from the time he was seven years old worked in his father's tailor shop sewing pants. Gabbana, meanwhile, was born in Milan in 1962, who once had a job cleaning bathrooms in the city as he helped his mother, who was a caretaker. When it comes to the traditional family, Dolce and Gabbana said, it is “a trend that doesn't pass.”
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