Chicago, IL —
The Hearty Boys have offered an invitation to dinner for Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas), to show the former governor and 2008 Republican presidential hopeful that their family, with same-sex parents, are "no less a family than yours."
Steve McDonagh and partner Dan Smith, owners of the Hearty Boys catering company and the Hearty Boys restaurant, 3819 N. Broadway, extended the written invitation
to Huckabee after he likened gay parenting to adopting a puppy.
In a recent interview with the College of New Jersey's campus news magazine, Huckabee said that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt.
"Children are not puppies," Huckabee said. "This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?"
It was this comparison that upset McDonagh, so he penned an invitation to Huckabee.
"Sir, your comments likening my parenting my son to adopting a pet are beyond hurtful and dangerous," writes McDonagh. "My love, passion and commitment to Nate is not one iota different than what you have for John Mark, David and Sarah. Our son is loved and cared for just as much. He feels just as loved and cared for. He is a happy, well adjusted little guy whom I fiercely love."
McDonagh and Smith, both successful caterers, restaurateurs, and authors, have been in a monogamous relationship for 13 years. The couple hosted "Party Line with the Hearty Boys" on the Food Network in 2006 and 2007.
"We were blessed to adopt our son, Nate, at his birth 4 1/2 years ago," McDonagh writes in his invitation. "I will open my home to you and pray that we might help you better understand the damage you could inflict."
The couple has not heard back from Huckabee.
For his part, Huckabee is backpedalling
on his statement and says the school paper "grossly distorted" his comments.
The paper's editor M.C. Tracey is standing by the interview. "This sort of desperate tactic is not surprising, however; politicians in damage-control mode often stoop to attacking the media so they might avoid being accountable for the substance of their remarks."
You can listen to the interview
and judge for yourself.