Gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans honored Senator John Cornyn a day after the Texas senator voted against repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay troops from serving openly.

Cornyn did not appear in person to accept the group's Barry Goldwater Award at Wednesday night's annual event held at the National Republican Club on Capitol Hill.

Five additional House Republicans were honored last night by the group: Representatives Pete Sessions of Texas, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Anh “Joseph” Cao of Louisiana, Judy Biggert of Illinois and Charles Djou of Hawaii.

Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, originally agreed to accept his award in person, he even defended his decision after social conservatives criticized the move.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, warned that his presence would undermine conservative values.

“[I]t is deeply troubling to me that you would lend your credibility to this organization,” Perkins said in a letter addressed to Cornyn.

Perkins noted that the Log Cabin Republicans are behind a court challenge to the military policy. The group convinced U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips to declare the policy unconstitutional.

Perkins decried the ruling as a “blatant example of judicial activism.”

“I … want to express my profound disappointment in the fact that you are assisting the very organization that sought this decision from Judge Phillips,” he said.

“How can a group that professes allegiance to the GOP at the same time be committed to using judicial activism to advance its radical social policies even at the risk of undermining the U.S. military and, as a result, national security?”

Cornyn defended his decision, saying it was important to engage with “adults with whom we may disagree.”

And disagree he does. Cornyn supports “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” and he does not believe the government should recognize the unions of gay and lesbian couples. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, gave Cornyn a zero for his support of gay rights. Sessions, another no-show, has also earned a zero from the group.

Others being honored – Biggert, Djou, Ros-Lehtinen and Cao – support repeal of “Don't Ask.”

At the dinner, Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American and an avid gay rights supporter, told the crowd, “To quote a phrase that's been badly misused, 'Si se puede' (Yes we can),” in reference to repeal of the gay ban.