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UK petition to Debenhams urges: Drop D&G

UK petition to Debenhams urges: Drop D&G

44,000 people want action over “synthetic” IVF children insult

London, UK - 15 April 2015


A 44,000-strong petition was delivered today to Debenhams’s flagship Oxford Street store in central London, asking them to stop stocking the fashion designers Dolce & Gabbana over their offensive dismissal of IVF babies as “synthetic children.”

It was delivered by petition author and human rights activist, Peter Tatchell, members of the Out and Proud Diamond Group and Beth Granter of the petition site Care2.com.

The petition was originated by Peter Tatchell and Edwin Sesange of the African Out and Proud Diamond Group. It asks Debenhams to stop stocking D&G products in their stores, until D&G make a full retraction and apology. Their comments are seen as 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.

Beth Granter at Care2.com worked as a coordinator of the petition and its delivery to Debenhams. She said:

"We delivered the petition to Sarah Tennant, Head of Buying, at Debenhams HQ. We really hope that she listens to the 44,000 people who feel strongly about this issue. We look forward to hearing her response. Department stores have a responsibility to carry brands which represent their values. I hope D&G's comments do not represent Debenhams' views."

Peter Tatchell added:

“This petition is in support of the boycott campaign. We are not denying D&G free speech. They can still speak nonsense about IVF children. But we have a right to protest against their ill-informed, intolerant views. Silence would be collusion and would give others the impression that they can spout prejudice with impunity. We hope Debenhams will honour their equality and diversity commitments and listen to our concerns. Dolce and Gabbana are entitled to their views but we are entitled to protest against them and to ask stores to not sell their clothes.”

Edwin Sesange noted:

“We are sending a clear message to Dolce and Gabbana that same-sex families are loving, happy families. 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.”

Last month, fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana made insulting slurs against same-sex parents and their children. 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.

Many people came out in support of an international boycott of the D&G brand, including celebrities like Elton John, plus the Out and Proud Diamond Group and the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

Tatchell and Sesange say on their petition:

"These 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."

"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."

"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."

"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."

ENDS

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