Huckabee invite

My partner Dan and I are inviting Mike Huckabee to our home for dinner. As cookbook authors and entertainment experts, this is not a prank. It is a serious offer for Mr Huckabee to meet with a family like ours. We have decided to do this because we need to address the fact that Mr. Huckabee likened our parenting to “adopting a puppy”. Here is a copy of the letter I sent to Mr. Huckabee this morning:

Mr. Huckabee,
You may know me from Food Network. My partner, Dan Smith, and I are The Hearty Boys. We’re Chicago caterers, restaurateurs, cookbook authors and most importantly, dads. Dan and I have been in a stable, monogamous, loving, positive, nurturing and healthy relationship for 13 years. We were blessed to adopt our son, Nate, at his birth 4 1/2 years ago.
Sir, your comments likening my parenting my son to adopting a pet are beyond hurtful and dangerous. 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.
Mr. Huckabee, I invite you to spend the evening with us at our home in Chicago next time you come through. You need to understand and see firsthand what a family like ours is like. We are no less a family than yours, and in fact, we are healthier and more stable than most.
Americans are no longer going to sit silent as our families are attacked. And even though I find your comments reprehensible and irresponsible, I will open my home to you and pray that we might help you better understand the damage you could inflict.
Steve McDonagh


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31 Responses to “Huckabee invite”

  1. Tweets that mention Huckabee invite « Natespop's Blog -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ted, Lauren Golanty, IAMHED, Marty Gleason, amy rue and others. amy rue said: RT @heartyboys: In response to Mike Huckabee's comments, The Hearty Boys extend a serious invite […]

  2. Haverly Says:

    I’m a big fan and a follower on twitter, @IAMHED. My dad came out when I was in 7th grade and luckily for me my parents remained very close friends and we are all very close with his longtime partner as well. I applaud your efforts to ‘be the bigger person’ so to speak. Thanks for standing up for real families. This jerk should be ashamed.

  3. from back in the day Says:

    you go boy!!

  4. Garza Girl Says:

    He can come to my partner and my house for dessert with our kids.

  5. Julia Says:

    YESSSSS!!!!! I couldn’t agree more!!!

  6. Jeff Says:

    Hats off you you guys, first for adopting, second for making an effort, I will be interested to see if he even responds.

  7. George Says:

    Commendations to you both for asking Mr. Huckabee to face reality vs. his politically pandering opinionated stance.
    It’d be a miracle if he took you up on it, further if he dared to admit publicly he was wrong.

  8. hg Says:

    A friend posted this on fb. I’m re-posting to pass the word around. Love this, a great idea. Good on you guys! But I bet Ol’ Huck won’t accept. I think he’s just plain too scared.

  9. Gale Gand Says:

    Hey, show him how you have regular friends too, who bring dessert and everything and who’s kids love playing with Nate. When should we show up with the sweets?

  10. Susan Says:

    Bravo to you for taking the high ground and showing him what true class is all about. Congratulations to you and your partner in your joy of parenthood. I am sure your son will grow up to be a wonderful man.
    I hope to hear if Huckabee takes you up on your invitation or what his response is. He could learn so much from you if he would only open his eyes and his heart. I doubt he will have the courage to take that first step.

  11. wendy Says:

    Ole Huck has been asked before and not responded. When faced with reality he backs down.
    Keep the pressure on – especially such high road pressure.
    You are THE BEST and Nate is one lucky kiddo.

  12. Bill and Jim Says:

    Dan and Steve–WONDERFUL letter and challenge!!! We KNOW you are great parents, and in all probability, more loving and supportive that Huckabee. He is a perfect example of what is wrong in this world!

    Greetings from the desert, ME and Boston.

    • natespop Says:

      By the way, Hi Guys! I got sidetracked and forgot to write you back! Hope you’re well and be sure to say hi when you come to Chicago; we’d love to see you!

  13. Malcolm J Blue Says:

    Congratulations for your leadership and sincerity with your letter and invitation. I was shocked that an ordained minister would compare children in need of a stable and loving homes to puppies.

    Nate is one fortunate child!


  14. Jennifer Says:

    You have the passion that every good parent does and that alone speaks volumes! I applaud you for standing up for your family! Turning the other cheek and being silent is not helping families such as yours be taken as seriously as they should be. If we are not willing to be advocates for our children and our families then we don’t deserve them.
    I hope he does turn up for dinner!

  15. Dave Says:

    Coming from a family of Huckabee wannabees it is, pardon the pun, always heartening when 2 Gay men walk the walk of love. Sadly Mr. Huckabee probably would disown a Gay son or daughter than have the courage to face his own fears. If Huckabee had 1/2 the heart, or 1/4 the love that exists in your family he would not need to keep his spirit filled with such hate

  16. john Says:

    I love the Food Network and your work. Thanks for standing up to Gov Huckabee and standing out for the LGBT community!
    I’d love to be at your home for this dinner, but I really doubt he will ever accept your invatation. Here in Florida we are not allowed to adopt children, but we can adopt pets(puppies), so we have 3 wonderful cats!
    That’s been our family for 23 years!

  17. Gay Food Network Stars Want Huckabee to Eat It Says:

    […] in an open letter to Huckabee on his blog, asked the former Arkansas governor-turned-(what else?) Fox News pundit to get to know his and […]

  18. Debbie Says:

    I think the fact that you were willing to give a child a home is wonerful. It shouldn’t matter what gender the parents are, as long as they provide a loving fostering home. People like Mr. Huckabee always say they are pro life but only on their terms. News flash… this is 2010 and it doesn’t matter who the mom or dad is as long as the child feels loved and wanted. Inviting somebody who is so dead set against families that don’t look like his is a brave thing. There isn’t just one definition of family in the dictionary, just as there isn’t just one type of family in real life.

  19. Juli Says:

    Shared your letter on FB. Wonderful response to ignorance – inform and include! I have a fantasy that your visit would end like this: “And he, he himself, the Grinch – carved the roast beast.”

  20. Elizabeth Says:

    I only wish he would take you up on it. Good for you for reaching out!!!!!

  21. Richard A. Walter Says:

    Way to go! This is one part of what all of us need to do–the courageous conversations with those who don’t know any better and are afraid simply because they do not know. This is fantastic, and I hope that Mr. Huckabee is man enough to accept and actually try to get to know you guys. We have a couple here in North Carolina who adopted twins a few years ago, and their business has alwys been family-oriented, being one of the earliest pioneers of on-site day carefor the staff, and that day care is available 24/7 as the business is open 24/7. In fact, you may have heard of it. Replacements, Ltd. in Greensboro. And let me say alsothat I am so proud of you guys for being willng to share your love with a child who will grow up to know that he has two loving parents who will offer him roots to grow from and wings to fly with. Now, where can I find your cookbooks, and do you have any plans to do any kosher cookbooks?

    • natespop Says:

      Hi Richard,
      I haven’t found time to sit and respond to people, so first off, thanks for the kind words. Secondly tell the guys at Replacements Ltd that I’ve been waiting for them to unearth my apparently impossible to replace thrift store buffalo china pattern for 7 years and thirdly, the book is available everywhere…Amazon probably easiest and if you need a personalized bookplate please let me know at I updated the blog today so please check it out.

  22. Diane Says:

    Well put! I wish there was less discrimination towards gay/lesbian couples to adopt. I have friends who actually had to move to another county in our state to finalize their adoption because they were a lesbian couple.
    There are so many narrow minded people who would never adopt a child. Give me a break. We know from research that these children are MUCH better off being adopted…period. And, being adopted by gay/lesbian parents is an added bonus.
    (Side note: I am hetero with bio and adopted children).


  23. Andrea Says:

    We stand with you. Love makes a family.

    Andrea, in Vermont

  24. queerunity Says:

    Huckabee would be too chickenshit to step foot in a gay home.

  25. Dave Says:

    Congratulations guys, you have made it onto the local news here in San Diego in regards to your invitation.

  26. GayPatriot » Huck on Gay Adoption Says:

    […] are adoptive fathers of a son. They, rightly, take offense at what Huck had to say and Steve posted this letter to the governor on his blog: Mr. Huckabee, You may know me from Food Network. My partner, Dan […]

  27. Gerald Fnord Says:

    Great idea; unfortunately I doubt M.H. is of the sort likely to let mere facts get in the way of the Truth.

  28. Erica Says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for taking the higher road. I don’t think I could have done it. I live in the State of Arkansas, and Mr. Huckabee does not represent us! He so does not represent family, morals, or values. I am a lesbian mother of 3. In this state the trend over the past 3 years of taking children from there gay birth parents has increased. The world does not know about it because of guys like Mr. Huck. If a 3rd party petitions the courts for guardianship due to ” cohabitating in a gay/lesbian relationship”, their order will be granted and birth parents have just hours to turn over their children forever. We (5 of us in this county) are all loving, doteing, and very caring parents. Arkansas will not allow gay marriage, but they will rip your family apart in a heartbeat. That’s the heartbeat of this America for us. And when ACT 1 was voted in in 2008, it was the nail in the coffin for our state…And thousands of children that so desperately need to be loved through fostering and adoption. This week Judge Piazzi of Pulaski County overturned ACT 1.. Fingers crossed it will stay so. It can’t bring our children home, but it will open loving homes to countless others. Thank you again for taking that higher road. Much love from our home to yours… Erica G.

  29. Mombian » Blog Archive » LGBT Parenting Roundup Says:

    […] “children are not puppies” fame) to dinner to meet them and their adopted son. McDonagh wrote on his blog: Mr. Huckabee, I invite you to spend the evening with us at our home in Chicago next […]

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