Activists Lash Out At Gay Hoteliers Who Hosted Ted Cruz

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

The two gay hoteliers who hosted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at an event where he said he would love his daughters just as much if they were gay are facing a backlash from LGBT activists.

Cruz’s comments were notable given that he strongly opposes same-sex marriage.

Now, activists are pushing for a boycott of Out NYC, the hotel owned by Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass (pictured, right). As of Friday, a Facebook page calling on a boycott of Out NYC, the hotel owned by Reisner and Weiderpass, had 3,805 likes Friday afternoon.

“Boycott FIP Establishments and Out NYC Hotel after owners hold reception for Senator Ted Cruz,” the about section of the Facebook post said.

Another post on the Facebook page said “Weiderpass, an out gay man, held a “reception” this past weekend for Senator Cruz. The question, among so many others, is, WHY???!!!”

Both Weiderpass and Reisner released statements to The New York Times saying they disagreed with Cruz on gay marriage.

“I was given the opportunity to have a candidate conversation with Senator Ted Cruz on where he stood on all issues, foreign and domestic,” Reisner said in his statement. “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.”

Reisner continued that “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.”

Similarly, Weiderpass said in a separate statement: “I worked tirelessly for the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ as a member of the board of directors for the Service members Legal Defense Network and 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 toward him having a better understanding of who I am and what I believe in.”

Despite the comments at the Wednesday event, Cruz on Thursday night, stressed that he was he still believes marriage is “between a man and a woman.”

Separately, the Broadway Bares Solo Strips fundraiser, which raises money for AIDs related causes, was cancelled in protest of Weiderpass and Reisner hosting Cruz. Executive Director Tom Viola explained that organizers could not “in good conscience” host the fundraiser at a venue “whose owners have alienated our community.”

“We do business with and accept fundraising support from a variety of people across a wide spectrum of political and religious affiliations. The rich diversity of our community makes what we do together so special,” Viola said in a statement. “It is a rare instance where the actions of a donor negatively impacts us as an organization and potentially jeopardizes our relationship with others whose support is integral to our success. But when it does occur, in a way that’s blatantly against all we stand and work for, we can’t pretend it doesn’t come with consequences. Silence is not a neutral position. It is complicit.

“This is not about partisan politics or punishment. This is about doing what’s right to ultimately ensure that our commitment to the men, women and children we serve cannot be questioned.”

This post has been updated.

(Photo credit: Facebook)

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: