Buitoni Pasta Responds to Barilla’s Anti-Gay Remarks With LGBT Support

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Friday September 27, 2013

Shortly after the president of the Barilla made international headlines for spewing anti-gay remarks during a radio show, which has sparked members of the LGBT community and their supporters calling for a boycott against the world's largest pasta company, officials from the Buitoni pasta company have uploaded a new image to social media showing LGBT support.

On Friday morning, Buitoni took to Facebook to post an image of tortellini used as male and female sex symbols, depicting opposite-sex, male same-sex and female same-sex "couples." The text reads, "Pasta for all." The post currently has 204 likes and a number of supportive comments:

"Way to go Buitoni! Your whole wheat pastas are my fav out of the fridge and freezer! Equality Matters!," one user wrote. "LOVE THIS!!! Way to go, Buitoni!!! Your pasta is high-quality, delicious, and doesn't discriminate! Our family will be eating lots of Buitoni pasta in the future! Thank you!!!" another said.

Barilla Pasta chairman Guido Barilla was thrown into the media spotlight on Thursday after he said he wouldn't use a same-sex couple in advertising and condemned same-sex adoption.

"I would never do an advert with a homosexual family... if the gays don't like it they can go an[d] eat another brand," Guido Barilla said. "For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company."

"Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them," he went on to say. "I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose."

LGBT supporters around the world are calling for a boycott against Barilla.

"This is another example of Italian homophobia. I’m joining the boycott of Barilla, and I hope other parliamentarians do the same," Alesssandro Zan, a Member of Parliament in the left-wing Sel (Sinistra Ecologia Libertà) party said.

Since making his initial statements, Guido Barilla has somewhat apologized.

"With reference to my statements made yesterday .... I apologize if my words have led to misunderstandings or controversy, and have offended the sensibilities of some people," he wrote on Facebook. "For clarity I would like to point out that I have the deepest respect for any person, without distinction. I have the utmost respect for homosexuals and for freedom of expression to anyone. I also said and repeat that I respect marriages between persons of the same sex. Barilla in its advertising has always chosen to represent the family because this is a symbol of welcome and of suffering for all. Guido Barilla"

Furthermore, Barilla’s US Facebook page recently updated with a status:

"At Barilla, we consider it our mission to treat our consumers and partners as our neighbors - with love and respect - and to deliver the very best products possible. We take this responsibility seriously and consider it a core part of who we are as a family-owned company. While we can’t undo recent remarks, we can apologize. To all of our friends, family, employees, and partners that we have hurt or offended, we are deeply sorry."

As of this writing, the post has 799 likes, but the top comment, which has 2,172 likes comes from Facebook user David De Maria, who said: "I’m Italian, I’m gay, I’m married legally to a man, I have three adopted children. I had Barilla pasta for dinner last night. Today, tomorrow and forever more I will choose another brand of pasta. Good bye Barilla! You lose!!!"

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