Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Huckabee update

April 16, 2010

So, someone asked me if I was going to update the blog. My first thought was “I have a blog?”  Really, I just wanted to find a way to link this letter I had sent to people.  But there was some action on the letter so let me tell you about it.

First off, I was so bouyed by the response I got from the community.  There were so many really positive emails, Facebook and Twitter reactions. It made us feel good to see that other people cared that we’d take a stand.  The thing is, Dan and I have been saying for years that we have a responsibility to represent two dad families to America.  We don’t have huge exposure, but we are definitely the only gay parents some people may ever come in contact with and get to know…even if that is only through the TV or a book or whatever.  We want to represent families like ours and do it honestly and hopefully help to dispel the fear some people have regarding our families.  So, thanks everyone for listening and touching base with us.

As far as Mr. Huckabee is concerned, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to any of us that he has back pedalled from these statements and begun to blame the university journalists who interviewed him.  He’s called their integrity into question and accused them of manipulating his words.  These kids aren’t backing down though and released the audio transcripts of the interview.  And, of course, we can hear him say exactly what he meant to say and hear what is in his heart of hearts.

I’ve tried really hard to get as much exposure with the letter as I can.  It’s an earnest invitation; not a prank or a stunt.  We thought that as restaurateurs and event planners that reaching out in this way makes it harder for him to decline.  I called friends and contacts and we had some play on Michael Signoreli’s Sirius radio show last night.

TimeOut Chicago wrote a blog about it, no response from CNN (even though we have someone who has a huge connection to an anchor there), we’ve sent it to contacts at CBS News, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair, a couple of free lancers and The View.  I was really hoping that The View would be interested as it seems right up their alley…the kind of thing that would be important to them and their audience.  Didn’t fly though.  They said that they don’t want to give him any more of a platform on this…fair enough…I guess they’re not fans either.

I also had a call with HRC today.  I’m anxious to see if there is anything they can do.  Our hope is that we can gain more steam with this and at the very least get some sort of acknowledgement from Mr. Huckabee.

But here’s the deal.  I’ve been in this business long enough to know that Mike Huckabee’s statements made for prurient news copy yesterday and that today it’s all about getting footage of the English stuck at Heathrow due to the volcanic ash.  The circus will move on and we’ll all get worked up at the next attack.  What sticks in my mind though is that there is one group of people who won’t forget this moment.  And that’s the kids that are old enough to hear this vitriole and understand what is being said about them and their families.   That they are being told they are in an unsafe place with caregivers who are not qualified to keep them secure.  Thank God nate is too young to have heard that.

But all in all, if nothing else happens, it made me feel better to actually take action as opposed to just calling Huckabee names or posting a bitchy Facebook status update.  It also made me feel connected to the community in a broader way.  So, I’ll keep you posted on anything else that might come of this…and I appreciate that we’re all together in this.

Huckabee invite

April 14, 2010

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