|Sen. Ted Cruz with NYC hotelier Mati Weiderpass|
Gay New York City hoteliers Mati Weiderpass and Ian Reisner are feeling the heat having “hosted” virulently anti-gay Sen. Ted Cruz in his home this week. Both have gone into complete crisis management as their gay clientele are outraged.
First, Mati Weiderpass posted this statement:
It seems my informal dinner with the Senator has created a back lash. So there is no misunderstanding, I support gay marriage 100%. I have been a major supporter of gay causes and gay charities for two decades. People on both sides of the aisle need to be able to communicate with one another even when they ideologically disagree. As a Captain in the Army I worked tirelessly for the repeal of “Don’t ask, Don’t Tell”. While serving on the Board of Directors for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network I needed to reach across the aisle to make that happen. The fact that Senator Cruz accepted the invitation to my home was a step in the right direction towards him having a better understanding of who I am and what I believe in. We spent most of the time talking about national security issues and in particular the challenges from ISIS, Iran, and defense of Israel — these are issues for which we did find common ground. However, i did not shy away from the opportunity to ask the Senator about social issues, in particular marriage equality, and made it clear that I completely disagree with him on that issue.
And partner Ian Reisner posted this:
“For my entire adult life, I have been an ardent supporter and activist for gay rights and LGBT organizations worldwide. I was given the opportunity to have a candid conversation with Senator Ted Cruz on where he stood on issues including the state of Israel and national security, which are the only places where we share common ground. It was just three months ago that I hosted a ‘Ready for Hillary’ event for a record turnout of 900 people at The OUT Hotel. Senator Ted Cruz and I disagree strongly on the issue of gay marriage, but having an open dialogue with those who have differing political opinions is a part of what this country was founded on. My tireless support of the gay community and its causes worldwide hasn’t changed and will not change.”
I have to admit that my husband and I make a point of staying at their gay-oriented hotel, The OUT NYC, because we like it and we want to support our own.
But I’m not cool on the idea of my gay dollars going into a presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz. I can stay a LOT of places in NYC.
There seem to be conflicting stories about whether or not this event was a fund raiser or merely a “fireside chat.” Either way, it makes me uncomfortable that more wealthy gays may use my consumer dollars to buddy-up to powerful anti-gay folks just because they can.
A Facebook page has been launched to promote boycotting the men’s business venues, “Boycott Fire Island Pines & Out NYC”.
UPDATE: A new development today as it appears Reisner hosted a fund-raiser for anti-gay Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin just last week.
Johnson opposes marriage equality, has a 0% on his HRC Congressional Scorecard. Just this week Johnson voted to allow discrimination against LGBT youth.
Not looking good here.
|Sen. Ron Johnson and NYC hotelier Ian Reisner|