Conservative Christian leader Tony Perkins of Family Research Council in Washington said he is willing to dine at the home of a married lesbian couple, who expressed their desire to "open up his heart" to the love that is present in their family.
Perkins sent a statement to CNN on Monday which read, "My wife and I will be glad to respond when we receive the invitation to find a time that works."
Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of a gay rights group called Family Equality Council, sent a letter to Perkins, inviting him to have dinner at her home with her same-sex spouse and twin 10-year-old boys. The invite was sent after Perkins indicated on CNN last week that he had never been to a married same-sex couple's home.
"Even if nothing comes of the experience, at least you can say you spent time with our families and knew us and still deny us our equality," the invitation states. "But I know you will find that our families have much in common and share the same hopes and dreams for our children."
Perkins told The Christian Post on Tuesday that he has not yet personally received the invitation but said he and his wife would be "happy to sit down and have dinner with them."
During last week's interview with CNN's Brooke Baldwin, Perkins, who stands in support of the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, said that while there some same-sex couples that "are probably great parents … that's not what the overwhelming amount of social science shows us."
"We still know the best environment for children is with a mom and a dad," he maintained.
"Social science shows that children need the developmental aspects of both a mom and a day and now while we obviously don't get to that in every situation, we should strive for that and our policy should undergird that and promote it. This (same-sex marriage) moves us away from that."
When asked why homosexuals "bother" him, Perkins said they do not but said he won't "be silent while they try to redefine marriage in this country, change policy what my children and taught in schools and what religious organizations can do."
Perkins, who launched a Stand for Marriage petition last week with a group of pastors, commented to CP that "public policy is not made on your family or my family; public policy is based on what's best for society as a whole. And while we can certainly try to cloud or take the discussion in a different direction, the overwhelming evidence based on the social science is that kids do best with a mom and a dad."
Chrisler of Family Equality Council told CNN on Monday that she didn't expect Perkins to accept her invitation but said she would be glad to welcome him to her home to get a "glimpse of the 1 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents who are raising 2 million children in our country today." She hopes the conservative leader will take the time to get to know her family and their values.
She shared that she is a Christian and sends her kids to Sunday school, and much like President Barack Obama, pointed to the Golden Rule that Jesus taught as she hopes to "soften" Perkins' heart to same-sex couples.
"As Christians, I think we can both agree that ours is not to judge and that we must live by the Golden Rule," she stated on CNN.
Obama's use of the Golden Rule, however, has been denounced by Christian leaders around the country who say that although Jesus preaches reaching out to those who are not like us, it is not an excuse to break God's commandments.
"The Golden Rule is in the Bible but it cannot be used to contradict God's marriage pattern reaffirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19:4-5. Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh?," said Obama's spiritual adviser, the Rev. Joel Hunter.