NRO: Barilla Pasta Is Right To Censor Gay Families In Its Ads

Blog ››› ››› CARLOS MAZA

National Review Online reporter Katrina Trinko criticized mainstream media outlets for characterizing the homophobic head of Barilla Pasta as "anti-gay."

In a September 28 article titled, "The Gay-Marriage Double Standard," Trinko defended recent comments made by Barilla Chairman Guido Barilla in which he stated that he would "never" run an ad with a "homosexual family," adding "Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role." Barilla went on to say that if gay customers "don't like it, then they will not eat it and they will eat another brand."

Trinko criticized media outlets for describing Barilla's comments as "anti-gay," asserting that other anti-gay comments had failed to generate similar condemnation:

The mainstream media is giving widespread -- and negative -- coverage to comments made by pasta king Guido Barilla.

Just check out these headlines: "Italian pasta baron's anti-gay comment prompts boycott call" (Reuters); "Pasta maker Barilla under fire for anti-gay comments" (CNN Money); "Pasta Barilla boycotted after CEO's 'homophobic' remarks" (MSNBC); and "Barilla pasta executive in hot water for anti-gay comments" (New York Daily News). Even a post on the Los Angeles Times website that has a more neutral headline ("Guido Barilla says pasta maker will never show gay families in ads") goes straight for the anti-gay accusation in the first sentence: "Is Barilla pasta taking a page out of the Chick Fil-A anti-gay playbook?"

So what exactly did Barilla, who heads a huge pasta company, say that was so awful? Did he propose that gay relationships be illegal? Did he make hateful comments about gays and lesbians, like movie star Alec Baldwin, whose July homophobic tweets such as "I'm gonna find you George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I'm gonna f**k you . . . up" not only didn't get him axed from his Capital One spokesman role, but also didn't prevent him from getting hired to host an MSNBC show? No. What Barilla did was to announce that he doesn't approve of adoption by gay couples, and he doesn't plan to feature a family with gay parents in Barilla ads. That's it. In fact, Barilla even added that he supports gay marriage.

However, supporting gay marriage, but not gay adoption, isn't good enough to suit the mainstream media, which has a long history of ditching objectivity when covering LGBT issues. [emphasis added]

According to Trinko, comments can't be accurately described as "anti-gay" unless they explicitly include hate speech or call for the outright criminalization of homosexuality. It's an absurd standard, meant to whitewash the homophobic content of Barilla's statements.

In his comments, Barilla suggested that gay people aren't fit to be parents, and families headed by gay couples aren't real families. To Barilla, the mere existence of same-sex parents is so objectionable that it deserves to be censored from his company's advertising. That's not a mere disagreement about adoption policy; it's an example of clear anti-gay animus.

Trinko went on to defend Barilla's comments by echoing his claim that gay couples are unfit to raise children, citing one of the most widely discredited papers about same-sex parenting in anti-gay activism:

Again, let's look at exactly at what Barilla opposes: gay adoption. That's hardly an extreme outlier position: 36 percent of Americans remain opposed to adoption by gay couples, according to a 2012 USA Today/Gallup poll. Nor, no matter what the Left would try to claim, is it settled whether it does or doesn't matter to a child whether he or she is raised by a same-sex couple. In a Slate article last year, University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus outlined the results of his study comparing children who had lived in a same-sex household at some point to those who had not.

Extensive research has debunked the myth that gay couples are incapable of effectively raising children. There is no longer a serious debate to be had about whether the families of same-sex couples are at a disadvantage. Barilla's decision to censor gay families from his company's advertising isn't based on a healthy dose of sociological skepticism - it's based on an unwillingness to treat gay and lesbian couples with respect and dignity.  

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBTQ
National Review Online
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