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:
“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.”