A gay Chicago couple that has hosted a Food Network TV show is inviting former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to dinner, in an effort to show him that families with same-sex parents are "no less a family than yours."
Steve McDonagh and Dan Smith are the owners of the Hearty Boys catering company and the Hearty Restaurant, 3819 N. Broadway. They also hosted the program, "Party Line with the Hearty Boys" on the Food Network, which was produced in 2006 and 2007 and remains on the air in reruns.
McDonagh issued invitation to Huckabee on his blog after comments were published this past Friday, in which the 2008 Republican presidential hopeful likened same-sex marriage to incest, polygamy and drug use.
Huckabee was quoted by The Perspective, a campus news magazine at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, N.J. He told the interviewer that not every group's interests deserve to be accommodated.
"You don't go ahead and accommodate every behavioral pattern that is against the ideal," Huckabee was quoted by the article by editor-in-chief M.C. Tracey. "That would be like saying, well, there are a lot of people who like to use drugs, so let's go ahead and accommodate those who want to use drugs. There are some people who believe in incest, so we should accommodate them. There are people who believe in polygamy, so we should accommodate them."
Huckabee also told the magazine that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt.
"Children are not puppies," he said. "This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?"
The comments upset McDonagh, who issued the letter to Huckabee asking him to sit down to dinner with McDonagh, Smith and their adopted son. McDonagh posted the letter on a Wordpress blog.
"Dan and I have been in a stable, monogamous, loving, positive, nurturing and healthy relationship for 13 years," McDonagh wrote. "We were blessed to adopt our son, Nate, at his birth 4 1/2 years ago."
"Mr. Huckabee, I invite you to spend the evening with us at our home in Chicago next time you come through," McDonagh wrote. "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."
In a telephone interview with CBS 2 Friday, McDonagh said he was outraged by Huckabee's comments.
"Dan and I take really seriously the fact that we are some of the only gay people that some people in America know because they know us from TV, and it's really important to us to be role models if we can for same sex marriage," McDonagh said. "So when Mike Huckabee says something like comparing adopting our son to adopting a puppy, I can't even get my mind around it."
McDonagh said he does not expect to hear back from Huckabee. But McDonagh said since he and his partner are familiar to many Americans through their Food Network show, they see this as an opportunity to "help to normalize and put a non-threatening face" on same-sex families.
McDonagh said his invitation was not a prank or stunt.
"It is a real invitation. I would love to have him here," he said. "I think if people like Mike Huckabee could come and spend the evening with us, and watch how normal our life and our relationship is… you've got to know you're talking about people, and you're not just talking about this quote-unquote, 'lifestyle.' You're talking about other humans."
"Us heterosexual couples who haven't been able to have their own child biologically, we all have to go through a much longer process to get to the point of having a child," Dan Smith told CBS 2's Pamela Jones. "We've thought long and hard about this. And we've wanted it really badly, just the same as the heterosexual couples have."
Since Huckabee's interview was published last week, he has released a statement on his Web site, accusing The Perspective of "sensationalizing" his "well-known and hardly unusual views of same-sex marriage."
"I believe that what people do as individuals in their private lives is their business, but I do not believe we should change the traditional definition of marriage," Huckabee wrote.
Article Courtesy of CBS Chicagocbschicago.com