September 15th, 2010
08:03 PM ET
4 years ago

Despite pressure, GOP leader to attend fundraiser for gay Republicans

Despite pressure from a social conservative organization, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, will attend a fundraiser for a Republican gay and lesbian advocacy group.
Despite pressure from a social conservative organization, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, will attend a fundraiser for a Republican gay and lesbian advocacy group.

Washington (CNN) - Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, dismissed a request Wednesday from an influential social conservative organization to skip a fundraiser for a Republican gay and lesbian advocacy group, saying that even though he does not agree with the group on social issues he shares its views on fiscal discipline and economic policy.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, sent Cornyn a letter on Monday saying that “it is deeply troubling” that the Texas Republican would attend an upcoming Log Cabin Republicans fundraiser, because the organization does not represent the ideals of the Republican Party.

“Your work in the U.S. Senate on issues important to the family is well known, as is your close association with Family Research Council and the work we do, which makes the association all the more distressing,” Perkins wrote in a letter provided to CNN by the FRC. “In deference to the work you have done against the debasement of our culture, I would ask respectfully that you withdraw from attending the event.”

But Cornyn, who oversees campaign efforts for Senate Republicans, said that he planned to attend the event and explained that he “accepted for two reasons” in a letter sent Wednesday to Perkins.

Read both letters after the jump:

Read Cornyn's letter here [pdf]
Read Perkins' letter here [pdf]

“First, part of my job is to reach out to those committed to defeat Senate Democrats this November,” Cornyn wrote in the letter obtained by CNN. “The Log Cabin Republicans are doing just that, as they stand for fiscal discipline, limited government, and a strong national defense. We may not agree on several key issues, but we do agree that every committee in the United States Senate should be chaired by a Republican.

“Second, as social conservatives we affirm the basic dignity of every human life, including not only unborn children, but also adults with whom we may disagree. I believe we are all made in the image and likeness of God. I believe the beauty and blessing of America is that people of different faiths and creeds can live together in peace, despite serious disagreements. Respecting each other’s dignity does not mean ignoring those disagreements, but rather being honest about them, and working together where possible despite them. I trust that was the spirit in which I was invited to this event; I know it is the spirit in which I accepted it.”

The Log Cabin Republicans' National Dinner is scheduled to take place next week in the nation’s capital and will feature several House Republicans, including National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas. The organization said on its Web site that Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, would be “attending the VIP reception prior to the dinner.”

In his letter to Perkins, Cornyn also emphasized his personal opposition to ending the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy regarding gay men and lesbians serving in the U.S. military. Perkins, in his letter, noted that the Log Cabin Republicans want to see “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ended. And the Texas Republican closed his letter to Perkins by writing that “I respect your opinion, and I trust that our own dialogue will continue in the months and years ahead.”


Filed under: John Cornyn • Tony Perkins
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. sadlyperturbed

    So Republicans can "work together despite" differences, but they can't work with Democrats in the same spirit? How hypocritical.

    September 15, 2010 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  2. Eric

    Good for him.

    I'm one of those Republicans who hates to see the extremism taking over the party. I voted McCain, not Obama and am likely to vote Republican again. Likely. But my vote is not assured. I'd vote for a moderate Democrat over a Limbaugh Republican.

    Good for those like Sen. Cornyn who recognize the party doesn't just need a wide variety of points of view to win, it wants them to be better than it is.

    September 15, 2010 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  3. Anti-Incumbent

    Dear John. Please raise all the money you can but be ready to resign. Your days as a R.I.N.O. are numbered.

    September 15, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  4. macguysea

    Welcome to 2010 Perkins... get a life already.

    September 15, 2010 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  5. Joel

    I don't understand Log Cabin Republicans. If fiscal responsibility were so important to them, they could be Blue Dog Democrats. At least then they wouldn't have to accept Republican efforts to demonize their existence. The "serious disagreements" Sen. Cornyn is talking about is whether gays should have any rights at all. I can't believe the Log Cabin Republicans would even accept having a disagreement on that point.

    September 15, 2010 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  6. Mattand

    Can someone please explain to me the concept of the Log Cabin Republicans? The only group that the current GOP hates more is Muslims.

    I mean, seriously: why would any homosexual with a modicum of self-respect support a political party so adamantly opposed to things like repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell and gay marriage?

    September 15, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  7. Big Al

    Is Larry Craig going to be the keynote speaker? Or are they just going to wheel out his closet?

    September 15, 2010 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  8. Sick&TiredOfTheGOP

    Wow, I hope Mr. Cornyn don't get a spanking by the big boys in the gop. LOL!

    September 15, 2010 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  9. Aaron

    Gay Republican is an Oxymoron. What self respecting Gay or Lesbian calls themselves a Repub. Before you are a Republican, you are yourself. For them, that is gay. The Repubs don't accept you. The Democrats do. You can't put anything ahead of who you are. That simply makes me throw-up a little bit in my mouth.

    September 15, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  10. valwayne

    Good for Sen Cornyn. Newt Gingrich has a Gay sister, and VP Cheney has a Gay daughter, and supports Civil Unions. Its about time many, not all, in the Republican party sent aside mindless bigotry against gay men and women and recognize that people have to be allowed to live their lives the way God made them. That what the Republican party stands for! The Democrats have lied and betrayed the Gay Community. Clinton and a Democratic Congress in 1992 lied about ending discrimination against gays in the military, and now Obama and another Democratic Congress have repeated the betrayal. Millions of gay men and women who vote are fed up with the betrayal of the Democrats as well as their failed economic policies, and are up for grabs in Nov!!! Its time for gay men and women to answer the lies and betrayal of the Democrats by firing them in Nov!!!

    September 16, 2010 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  11. Sick and Tired Republican

    I'm going to the dinner. I urge ANYONE who supports gay rights to attend even if they aren't gay. I am sick and tired of the Republican party dictating social/moral issues like marriage. There is no place for it in politics. A Church is not being forced to recognize it. Its about two people loving each other.

    September 16, 2010 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  12. Shelly

    Sen. Corny will be history in the GOP. This happens to all those that do not adhere to the ultra nutty conservative views. The moderate Republican Party is becoming extinct!!!

    September 16, 2010 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  13. Anonymous

    This is insane. you have a group that supports another group that hates them and now you have a politician that says its OK that they don;t agree that the member of the group should have socila justice as long as they agree on money issues.
    Both sides are nuts!

    September 16, 2010 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  14. GI Joe

    Uh Oh - he's no longer pure - Demented and Shrilla will really get all over him – wonder . . . . . . .

    Nah!!

    September 16, 2010 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  15. StevieBoy

    I hate to say it, but OMFG!!!!! Couldn't he get to the point more quickly than that or was it just the politician getting the better of him?!?!

    September 16, 2010 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  16. Ryan

    At least one republican is not afraid to be respectful of others

    September 16, 2010 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  17. Aaron

    Cornyn better look out being reasonable and all. The Koch brothers are going to get irate and turn their funded Tea Party against him.

    September 16, 2010 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  18. Harold

    Let the Republican Civil War continue! Those who claim to be Christian seem to hate those who are different. Thats not the definition of Christian. It surely is not what jesus would do.
    I kinda respect John Coryn for going to the event. You do not have to agree with everyone on everything.
    But let the Covil War continue!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2010 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  19. Bill

    Looks like the big self loathing closet-case Tony Perkins is being thrown overboard. Good.

    September 16, 2010 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  20. barry

    It's a big tent there is room for fiscal conservatives from all walks of life.

    September 16, 2010 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  21. Donkey Party

    Cornhole thinks "every committee in the US Senate should be chaired by a Republican"??? So much for bipartisan checks and balances. The Republicans want nothing less than a totalitarian, radical extremist Theocracy that mirrors the government of Iran. Merely substitute Allah with Jesus, and the GOP and the Ahmadinejad administration are one and the same. Wake the eff up Democrats, vote in November to keep these Teabagging America-haters from taking power from the ones that are trying to correct all the errors from 2000 to 2008. Vote for Liberals, no Blue Dogs, and no "independent" Democrats.

    September 16, 2010 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  22. jules sand-perkins

    Many members of my Republican party are WRONG in not including Log Cabin Republicans. These gay men and lesbians are conservative Americans who realize that it is no business of "family-research" homophobes like Tony Perkins what gay people do with their sexual organs, although Perkins is obsessed by it.
    The Republicans are denying themselves substantial resources by excluding the Log Cabin group. In time, as young Republicans take over from our generation and those as backward and ignorant as Tony Perkins die off, Log Cabin Republicans will replace us.
    Tony Perkins does not know that society evolves.
    Life changes.

    September 16, 2010 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  23. La Piovra

    Whether Mr. Cornyn's acts are viewed as broad-minded or as opportunistic, they are to be commended. Republicans, as a group, can suffer from being too purist, just as Democrats can suffer from being too spineless. A political party should have clearly defined POLITICAL programs and stand up for them; it should not be exclusionary in its MEMBERSHIP. In the United States, at least, that is the only way for it to remain viable.

    September 16, 2010 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
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