By Joseph E. Rathjen
September 28, 2013
I’ll never look at pasta the same anymore. As a matter of fact, the next time I eat any pasta, I am going to close my eyes and think of baseball scores. Now do not get me wrong, this does not mean that the latest theory from Guido Barilla about pasta and homosexuals is upsetting me. It is just that I never heard of a food source used as a symbol for heterosexuality and traditional family values.
Of course, there are those people who will say I am wrong. After all, food does have its place in the bedroom. I’m not talking about munching on a bag of potato chips, however, or sharing pretzels with your dog on the floor while watching American Idol. I’m talking about using food as an aphrodisiac, or using it at as an instrument of, well, whatever you want to use it for.
Let’s explore this further. Have you ever invited over for dinner a friend or a couple who were gay even though you are not? If you did, were you worried about what you would feed them? Did you ever think that maybe there is a particular food that gay people should not eat? Of course not, that is silly you probably would say…right?
Well guess what…there are some people over in Italy who will disagree with you.
When I first read about how the chairman of the Barilla pasta company went on an Italian radio show called “La Zanzara” and proclaimed, “I would never do an advertisement with a homosexual family,” I thought I was reading it wrong. I thought when that baker out in Oregon had refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple that we would never hear of such nonsense anymore, but I was wrong.
Now it is pasta. ” If the gays don’t’ like it they can go and eat another brand,” Guido Barilla said, and he also added, “For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company.”
I do not understand what pasta has to do with the sacredness of a family, and how it could be representative of one, but obviously, Guido Barilla does. To me, it is just a stringy noodle made from durum wheat and water. Usually, it is served with meatballs and sausage, but let’s not get started with that.
“I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose,” Barilla also said.
It is hysterical how Barilla uses his company’s product to make a statement about gay adoptions. It is even more hilarious how he is uses his pasta to support a child’s right to choose what family to live with. Did he think by refusing to use gay actors in his advertisements that he was making a point? Clearly, Barilla did not hear about the baker out in Oregon who lost his business because of such foolishness. His quick turnaround and apology only proves that, although he is a good pasta maker, he is a lousy businessman.
I firmly believe that everyone has a right to their opinion about matters of sexual orientation. I also believe that every business owner has the right to choose their customers – up to a legal standpoint. I also believe, though, that the product they sell should not be used as a weapon or an excuse to castigate or pry into the privacy and sexual preferences of a customer. That is not only discrimination – it is also disrespectful.