When former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee compared gay marriage to drug abuse, polygamy and incest last week, he set off a firestorm of angry emails, outraged Twitter updates and snide Facebook statuses across the country.
Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh had a different idea when they heard the news: invite Huckabee over for dinner.
Smith and McDonagh are a gay couple living in Chicago. The two got their start as actors in New York, and have since gone into the catering business together, under the name The Hearty Boys. They had a short-lived show on The Food Network entitled "Party Line with the Hearty Boys."
And they're also parents. Smith and McDonagh adopted their son, Nate, in July 2005. As such, they were understandably incensed when Huckabee said of gay adoption: "Children are not puppies. This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how does this work?"
So they released an open letter to the former governor, asking him over for dinner in the hopes of opening his mind. From the letter:
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.
Time Out Chicago reported the letter in its blog, quipping that "this proves that it's physically impossible for the Hearty Boys to lose their appetite." And NBC Chicago invoked the old saying, "Kill them with kindness," writing that "a couple of Chicagoans have their cross hairs pointed at Mike Huckabee."
While the couple has yet to hear back from Huckabee (and doesn't expect to) they said they are glad they said something rather than "just calling Huckabee names or posting a b****y Facebook status update."