MILAN (Christian Examiner) -- Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana received criticism this week after remarks made in support of traditional marriage and family -- a move that has some conservatives standing behind the duo and some gay celebrities leaving the brand behind.
The openly gay business partners and former couple told the Italian magazine Panorama they "opposed adoptions" because the "the only family is the traditional one," the publication reported over the weekend.
"We certainly didn't invent the family. The Sacred Family made it an icon, but irrelevant of religion or social status: you are born and have a father and a mother. Or at least that is how it should be, that is why what I call children of chemistry, synthetic babies," Dolce told Panorama.
He went on to call children born through surrogate mothers (literally translated as rented uterus) "seeds chosen from a catalogue."
"Procreation must be an act of love, nowadays even the psychiatrists are not ready to face the effects of these experiments," Dolce said.
"The family is not a fad," Gabbana added. "In it, there is a supernatural sense of belonging."
In the days that followed, singer Elton John launched a social media war with the designers that resulted in a call to boycott the pair for "lining up with the Pope and the far-Right in their support for legal discrimination" according to LifesiteNews.
John and his husband have two children conceived through in vitro fertilization and carried by an American surrogate mother.
Though a number of celebrities have backed the boycott, some conservatives are petitioning Dolce and Gabbana not to back down for their support of traditional family values.
"Though we may not necessarily agree with everything they believe or stand for, right now Dolce and Gabbana need encouragement from those who support traditional marriage and the natural family not to cave under the intense pressure that is being put on them by intolerant gay activists," the LifeSiteNews petition states.
So far Dolce, the more outspoken of the partners on the matter, has not altered his remarks. The two did however clarify their comments in an exclusive with CNN Wednesday where Dolce explained his views were part of his Sicilian upbringing.
"I believe in the traditional family," he said. "It is impossible to change my culture for something different. It's me... I respect all the world, all the culture."
Gabbana at least emphasized he did not judge families achieved with the help of IVF, because "the beauty of the world is freedom."
Ultimately Dolce and Gabbana said the situation surprised them and hoped to see their critics meet them with a mutual respect.
"Every people [has] freedom for choosing what they want. This for me is democracy. I respect you because you choose what you want. I respect me because I choose what I want... This just my point of private view," Dolce said.