September 16th, 2010
08:15 AM 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 (38 Responses)
  1. tweety

    It would be wonderful to see these bigots, gay bashers, old white people, and greedy souls actually change, but, I will not see that in my lifetime.

    The party of MANY gay people who are still hiding is full of hyporcrites, the news proves this often. How many more Repug's are going to get burned when they catch them and now are forced to come out?

    I suppose its opening a door I guess, but, I won't hold my breath on the knuckleheads allowing gays to have civil rights like everyone else.

    September 16, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  2. Terrence

    Ahhhh Tony Perkins ... I wont be surprise if one of these days he will come out and announce that he is gay.

    September 16, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  3. rdepontb

    This is the most honest thing Cornyn has done in a while. Time to put Perkins and Co back in their anachronistic cages.

    September 16, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. Willa-PA

    This country will not go anywhere with the Tony Perkins of the world. No acceptence, ever. And they call themselves christians.

    September 16, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. Mark

    I would like to know how is acknowledging a minority group of individuals such as the Log Cabin Replublicans debasing our culture? There is just too much hate out there and it's got to stop!!!

    September 16, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  6. Rob Johnson

    Another wedge issue that will eventually cause a split between the Tea Party fringe and more moderate, sensible Republicans.

    September 16, 2010 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. El Kababa

    Gay Conservatives bewilder me. Why would they embrace a political movement that has opposed gay rights at every turn? If Conservatives had their way, homosexuals would be jailed like pedophiles.

    Black Conservatives bewilder me. Conservatives opposed giving Blacks the right to vote. Conservatives even opposed laws against the lynching of Blacks.

    September 16, 2010 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  8. Jilli

    Wow, ONE republican legislator to show up, impressive.

    I guess since the gop has managed to alienate blacks, hispanics, muslims – aw heck, everyone that's brown – "special interests" like teachers and policeman, gays and lesbians – they have to broaden their tent and send one legislator in support. They can't win off of old white people for ever – their primary demographic is dying off.

    September 16, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  9. DJ in TX

    I don't like Cornyn's or the GOP's policies, but I'll give him credit for going. Perkins is what's wrong with this country. Just becuase we disagree doesn't mean we should not talk or socialize.

    Hey I'm a Democrat, didn't vote for Cornyn, never will, but I'll at least give him credit for trying to keep GOP votes. A lot of gay Republicans voted for Obama and the Democrats last time. Cornyn is trying to prevent that.

    Now, as a vet, who fought in Desert Storm, from Ft Hood, I didn't give a damn if you were gay, straight, both, etc. As long as you did your job, could fire a weapon if necessary, it didn't matter. I don't agree with the gay lifestyle either, but again, if you did your job in combat and we all came home, so be it.

    September 16, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. zman

    Ah yes,the self proclaimed leader of American morality showing his Christian love of man. I can't wait for him to go the way of Swaggart,Haggard and innumerable priests...as he will sooner or later. Jesus better not return any time soon either...I mean if he comes back and starts preaching unconditional love and speaks against war and hate, he'll get a letter from the bigotry and hate king and repugs will denounce him as a traitor or commie or socialist. On the other hand, how anyone who has been subjected to prejudice can support a political machine that (in Perkins' words) does not espouse their core beliefs (freedom of expression,pursuit of happiness,freedom of religion)are idiots in the first place. Perkins will probably turn out to be a holier-than-thou pedophile anyway and self destruct...But don't worry, he'll do the Swaggart and Haggard thing and repent and be re-accepted by their flock.BaaBaa..Sheep all.

    September 16, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  11. Outsider

    The Republican viewpoint is now in full view .. Gays and Lesbians are debasing our culture.

    September 16, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    The GOP has to stop denying gays, their human rights. That is simply not the right thing to do.

    September 16, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. Jack in Florida

    It is 2010.....so much nonsense over gay issues!!!! Not sure why there are gay republicans, since they are not welcome in the party, but people need to get past this non issue!!!

    September 16, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  14. Glenn Beckerhead

    Wouldn't be the least surprised if Cornyn came out soon. He's always had that nancy-boy look about him.

    September 16, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. doug

    There are some from the religious right whose views on gays is distrubing and completely un-American.

    With that said I don't think a single one of them comes close to the hate shown by each and every Democrat toward gays who don't vote as the libs have instructed them.

    Tons of proof that make what I have said an undeniable fact, just read the comments from the Dems in this forum, clearly the most hateful people in America today.

    September 16, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  16. Julie C in CA

    I think the only view he shares is "fund raising". The response from his cronies however should be a flag to those who think the GOP does not discriminate. Homophobia is extremely ignorant; people don't choose to be gay. Until these old croonies die off, our country will stay intolerant I'm afraid. C'mon young people, get out the vote and take the GOP down! Can you really relate to these relics?

    September 16, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. Jon

    It's good to see a Republican like Senator Cornyn standing up to the bigots who support his party, even if it's just this once. Now if only more Republicans stood up to the hateful rhetoric of extremists like Tony Perkins, maybe I'd think about voting for one.

    September 16, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. Laurie

    It is really refreshing to see a Republican stand up to the extreme right.

    Way to go..... This party needs more people like this.

    September 16, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. Cincinnatian

    Many Republican leaders are gay...Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Senator Craig, W Bush's top advisor, Dick Cheney's daughter...the list goes on and on. There is a reason Laura Bush, Cyndi and Meghan McCain, and Dick Cheney all support gay marriage. But, shhh, don't tell the wealthy, social conservative contibutors!

    September 16, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  20. Klaxon McFlinderginder

    Gay Republicans: people who vote for people who will vote against them.

    September 16, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  21. Former Republican, but never again!

    Civil war has broken out! The Tea Party will target Cornyn for the sin of meeting with gay people!

    September 16, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. David

    Basically he wants their money and not give them any civil rights. Typical Republican hypocrisy. They want the gays when they need them. To die in war, but don't repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, give us your money but no civil rights. Disgusting. "Fiscal discipline" and "Republican" should never be used in the same sentence. They didn't pay for one thing in 8 years. They don't know how.

    September 16, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. bestglenn

    John Cornyn does not represent Texans or gay Republicans.
    He represents everything that is wrong with the Republican Party.
    I am a small business owner in Dallas Texas and Cornyn is a disgrace. Thank you US Americans for Barack Obama
    I am always amazed that no matter how stupid something is. John Cornyn is always standing beside the idiot that is saying it.
    Cornyn is one of the first anti-US Americans that endorsed Odonnell.
    Disgraceful, even Karl Rove (sometimes) knows a dangerous fool when he sees one.

    September 16, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. Scott

    I'm sure some gay Germans voted for Hitler's economic policies as well.

    September 16, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. sonny chapman

    Ah, Tony Perkins; Jesus' First Lieutenant. God Bless You John Cornyn !

    September 16, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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