Led by Peter Tatchell, activists sent the designers a message after their controversial comments on gay adoption
This afternoon, a protest hit Dolce and Gabbana's Old Bond St store in London, led by LGBT activist Peter Tatchell. “We hope to encourage Dolce and Gabbana to apologise and to acknowledge that children brought up in same-sex families are just as happy and well-adjusted as children brought up in traditional heterosexual families," he said.
Elton John has led a global boycott against the brand on Instagram in light of the designers’ comments made during an interview with Italian magazine Panorama that children should have heterosexual parents and that children born through IVF treatment were “chemical children, synthetic babies”.
Yesterday, Stefano Gabbana defended their point of view in an interview with CNN: “We love gay couples. We are gay. We love gay couples. We love gay adoption. We love everything. It's just an expression of my private point of view," he said.
In response, Tatchell told Dazed: “Dolce and Gabbana have a right to free speech, but we also have a right to protest. We want to hit them in the pocket a bit, and to send a signal that if you preach prejudice, you can’t get away with it.”
Many of the demonstrators were from LGBT group Out & Proud Diamond. Ugandan woman Roshen Nakintu, 30, stated: “I am a lesbian and one day I would love to have kids. We have to fight for this. You might have freedom of speech, but you have to think about other people and how it affects the majority of people. It’s not just about lesbians and gay people; they need to apologise.”
Initially, photographers pitched up on the opposite side of the street to the store, but workmen arrived and parked a large van directly in front of demonstrators, forcing press and activists into a tight space. According to signage in their van, they specialise in “emergency glazing works”. It was not clear who had arranged for these workmen to be in front of the shop, but they remained until police arrived.
An onlooker named Victoria sided with the designers. “If nature has not intended for you to have children, why don’t you adopt? There are so many children without parents. It’s just selfish,” she said. “Those protesters should volunteer for the homeless or something. It brings you so much more good feeling. That’s just negative energy.”
Anna Tsantziou, 20, and Sefe Hanson, 18, are both students at Amsterdam Design Institute. They voiced support for the demonstration: “I don’t think the gender of the parents matters,” said Hanson. “It’s about the love that they give the children. That’s the most important thing and that’s what people should be focusing on.”
Liked this? Head here for more on LGBT rights:
Inside Selfridges radical, gender-neutral department store
A quarter of the UK's homeless youth are LGBT