As you may have seen, Guida Barilla, head of the Barilla pasta company, made some regrettable remarks yesterday. In a radio interview in Italy, he said that the company would not consider featuring a gay couple in its advertisements.
"For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the basic values of the company," he said. And for Barilla, a “sacred family” clearly consists of opposite gender parents and, I imagine, straight kids. He then digs himself a little deeper hole by adding, "I would not do it, but not out of a lack of respect for homosexuals who have the right to do what they want without bothering others … [but] I don't see things like they do and I think the family that we speak to is a classic family." “Bothering others” and “classic family” are the words that I’m sure he wishes he hadn’t said now.
He then said that if gay consumers didn’t like his company’s thinking, they can eat another brand of pasta.
He went on to say that he supported gay marriage, but was against gay adoption.
I remain stunned that in 2013 not only does someone hold such a view, but that, as head of an international company, he isn’t press savvy enough to keep it to himself.
Today, he’s walked back his comments a little, apologizing if his statements “offended the sensibilities of some people.”
While I’m chastising him and disagree with his beliefs, he still has the right to his opinions. His company has every right not to feature gay couples in its ads. Just as I now have every right to no longer buy Barilla pasta.
Today’s $10 goes to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute, which focuses on training LGBT leaders. Maybe one day someone trained by the Victory Institute will run a successful pasta company that competes with Barilla.
Sept. 26: The Victory Institute
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