The head of Barilla pasta says he won’t run advertisements featuring gay couples, citing his belief that children deserve a mother and father:
Guido Barilla, whose firm has almost half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that in the US, told Italy’s La Zanzara radio show last night: “I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand.
“For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company.”
He added: “Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them”. But then the pasta magnate upped the ante by attacking gay adoption. “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose,” he said.
Calls for a boycott are ringing out. It’s a replay—with the sides reversed—of the controversy over Starbucks’ advocacy for redefining marriage:
Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. . . . This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners. It is core to who we are and what we value as a company. We are proud of our Pride Alliance Partner Network group, which is one of the largest Employer Resource Groups for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees in the U.S., helping to raise awareness about issues in the communities where we live and work.
Starbucks has been boycotted by customers who disagree, which one investor-analyst suggested led to a disappointing quarter. Despite this, Starbucks has refused to back down. So far, Guido Barilla isn’t either: “I’m sorry if my comments on La Zanzara have created misunderstanding or polemic, or if I’ve offended anyone. In the interview I only wanted to underline the central role of the woman in the family.”
Post has been updated to correct information on Starbucks earnings.