Food Network Gay Couple Invite Huckabee to Meet Adopted Son


In response to Mike Huckabee's recent remarks to gays who parent or want to parent ("Children are not puppies."), Chicago couple and Food Network stars Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith — aka The Hearty Boys — have invited Huckabee to dinner and to meet the 4-year-old adopted son Nate.

Their invitation:

Huckabee  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

Wonder if Huckabee will have the courage to accept.


  1. Rin says

    Personally, I think this is how it has to be done. People need to meet each other. Without knowing personal stories people have no real clue. We are all so disconnected even as we are connected.

    I can post here all day, but until you come into my home and I make you a quad shot grande iced mocha…you will never really know me.

    Gays are born with rights. No one gives them to you. A right to have the family of your choosing. All the Huckabees of this world are doing is trying to trick you into believing you don’t have them.

  2. Derek says

    Wow what a great letter! I really can’t imagine him accepting but it would be a fantastic opportunity to show him the normal life of a family with gay parents. I’ll be honest, I’m a little bit jealous of him, I want to go for dinner with them now! INVITE ME PLEASE!

  3. Fred says

    “Wonder if Huckabee will have the courage to accept.”
    Nope – I sent a similar message and invitation to Michelle Bachmann who lives a few miles away. No response from her, but my friends thought I was crazy.

  4. MikeMick says

    He won’t reply. He’s too secure in his moral superiority and too much of a chickenshit to get his ass kicked by a pair of smart, articulate gay men.

  5. Chitown Kev says

    @Patrick NYC

    Ding ding ding.

    it’s all about the food. He wouldn’t be a good ol’ Southern boy passing up an invitation to eat.

    Eh, yes he would.

    But this is exactly the right couple to extend the invitation.

  6. walter says

    fuckabee would more likely turn up the non inclusive prom in mississippi than at this gay couple home. why would he want to show the positive side of gay life it doesn’t play well to his troops. the fuckabees of the world need to dwell on negative images it makes them feel better about themselves.
    hate not love sells ideas unfortunately .
    watch the catholic church they spend more time hating people than loving them except maybe for a few hundred priests but that was the wrong kind of love

  7. RONTEX says

    As a gay couple in Texas with kids in school, we have met some “Huckabee types” and this approach absolutely works.

    Once they see how “normal” our families actually are, the acceptance starts to happen.

    It’s like Clarice Starling said in “Silence of the Lambs”… “Once he see’s them as a person, it makes it harder to cut them up”

  8. Steve says

    Awesome! I think the more homophobes get to know real GLBT people and see their day-to-day lives, the less they have to fear. This is what my father would call a “gentlemanly” response – it throws down the gauntlet in a direct and unflinching way. I hope Huckabee accepts.

  9. DJ says

    This is the right approach of course…but I am skeptical he would ever deign to visit, at least visibly and publicly. Huckabee would have to distance himself, a la Jimmy Carter, from Baptist anti-gay rhetoric and ideology, and it’s not going to happen because that’s a cornerstone of Dominionism and the Dominionist agenda in the US. (‘evangelical Christians hold that the granting of “dominion” in Genesis 1:28 includes a “cultural mandate” to influence all aspects of the world with Christian principles,’ and thus to establish a Christian State. This is what they are trying to do.)

  10. CKNJ says

    These guys are awesome, what a great idea! However, I suspect most of the posters here are right… Huckabee will never accept. It’s too far out of his myopic range to ever happen. He will be too scared he may actually like them and thus have to not hate us all.

    Either way, it’s a great gauntlet to throw down, guys…. thank you for doing that! Let’s see what happens!

  11. Cali says

    Hearty Boys, this is an awesome invitation! Great idea and I hope it gets MILES of publicity. That being said, don’t start polishing the good silver just yet.

  12. JeffRob says

    What a great letter. I really hope Huckabee gets to read it, and takes them up on it. Good work, guys!

    And Hearty, on Broadway in Lakeview, is a fantastic restaurant. If you’re in Chicago, don’t miss it. I recommend the Elderberry gimlet and the beefaroni.

  13. Mykelb says

    Hucksterbee is a religious right christofascist who would be afraid to even get within 20 feet of someone who is gay for fear he might get infected with something. He is a horrible human being with no ethics whatever.

  14. says

    Flipping through channels I discovered the “Hearty Boys” cooking show and instantly knew they were a “married” couple, just by the loving looks they would give one another while talking to their audience about what they were preparing. I became intrigued and have watched (albeit periodically, cause I don’t watch t.v. very much), ever since. Not because their gay, but because it’s a damn good cooking show.

    I applaud them for their invitation.

    But, with that said, I agree with most of you, I will faint if Huckabee accepts.
    I remember his comments during the early years of the AIDs crisis… His religion will stop him.

    Folks, short of all the Deities coming down to earth to kick the collective asses of all their parishioners, their religion will in most, if not all cases, win out.

    If perchance he accepts, I offer my services as ‘witness’. *grin*

  15. BART says

    I applaud these men for extending the invitation to Huckabee. I have to admit, being the father of two adopted sons, I wouldn’t want Huckabee near my boys. Though, my partner being a Christian minister and me a man who doesn’t suffer fools lightly, having Huckabee over to enjoy an evening of mac and cheese with my kids and then a nice sit down conversation with my partner and I after we put our kids to bed, might actually teach him something.

    Which is exactly why Mike Huckabee wouldn’t accept an offer. He doesn’t want to learn anything. Because in his ignorance he is right, in knowledge and truth (in the light) he would be proven to be both wrong and morally disfunctional. This is a man who calls himself a Christian but does not live by the example and teachings of Jesus Christ but rather, by laws of the Old Testament. Huckabee would be better off calling himself an Old Testamite or a Leviticite than a Christian. In our house, we’re teaching our boys to live in the light of Jesus Christ and the justice and love for all he stood for.

  16. Uluwehi says

    Bravo! The approach that the Hearty Boys have taken is one of the very best approaches we can take with which to respond to Mike Huckabee’s deplorable ‘puppies’ statement.

  17. Mario says

    Oh please, do you really think these people truly believe what they say? He only reads says these things because his political base loves to hear it. Huck is an idiot and has no interest in getting to know any of us, I suggest we do the same.

  18. TomJ says

    I’ve seen the show a few times – it’s great.

    I had NO idea these guys were gay – or a couple.

    God bless them. This is what I want to see.
    This is the proper response that will get what we want.
    Don’t you guys get it? Responding with the love and proof of responsibility will get the point across.

    And I mean love and respect for people who don’t “get it.”
    He really doesn’t get it – yet.

    There is a place for Stonewall Riots (thank God for that) and a place for compassion for the don’t-get-it person

    More of this, please.

    Thank you, Andy for posting this.

  19. daws says

    Fantastic response to Huckabee’s ignorant and hurtful comments. This is how you do it. Bravo to Steve and Dan!

  20. John says

    Applaud you for writing such a well crafted letter, thumbs up for you two – adopting a child- offering him the love, attention, emotional and financial support that his straight parents were unable to provide…what a terrible quality to have. Time overdue to end negative portrayal of gays as freaks of nature.