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Fallout From Gay Hotelier-Ted Cruz Event Continues

Ted Cruz

The owners of Out NYC hotel are facing multiple cancellations and a boycott for hosting an event with the anti-gay senator

The repercussions from the private dinner and "fireside chat" with Texas senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz continue for hosts Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass. The men are partners in Parkview Developers, own the Out NYC Hotel, 42West event space, and a strip of commercial properties on Fire Island Pines.

Almost immediately after the reporting, a Facebook community group, "Boycott Fire Island Pines Establishments & Out NYC Hotel," was created. It has over 9,100 "likes" as of Monday morning.

Last week, in the first of a string of cancellations, AIDS fundraising organization Broadway Cares cancelled its Solo Strips fundraiser at the 42West club. Even organizers wrote in a statement the cancellation was because they could not "in good conscience hold an event at a venue whose owners have alienated our community."

More recently the New York City Gay Men's Chorus protested Reisner and Weiderpass's ill-conceived event with the vehemently anti-LGBT senator by cancelling the Lily Garden fundraiser at The Out NYC Hotel that was scheduled for Saturday. A statement on the chorus's Facebook page read, in part, "We wish we could say this was a clear, easy decision. It wasn't. We believe in nuanced, complex discussion, and we think that dialogue with your opposition will always lead to positive change in the world. We cannot say who is right and who is wrong, and we hope the debate will continue. We can say, however, that we made the decision because we want to be 100% clear in our support for the LGBTQ community."

In response to the string of strident opposition, Reisner posted on his Facebook page, "I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake." Wiederpass responded on Facebook as well.

I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake....

Posted by

Ian Reisner on Sunday, April 26, 2015

I share in Ian's remorse. I, too, lay humbled with what has happened in the last week. I made a terrible mistake....

Posted by Mati Weiderpass on Sunday, April 26, 2015

Reisner told, " 'I think I'm being misunderstood...I'm crying in the car.' He stressed the Cruz meeting wasn't a fund-raiser, and 'I never would have, I never will' support Cruz, who opposes same-sex marriage."

Though the dinner with Cruz wasn't ostensibly a fundraiser--no money was collected to attend--such events are often held to connect potential donors with a candidate. Reisner has hosted a private fundraiser for Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (Wisconsin). Johnson opposes marriage equality. Towleroad notes that Johnson "opposes marriage equality, has a 0% on his HRC Congressional Scorecard, and just this week voted to allow discrimination against LGBT youth."

A protest against at the Out NYC hotel is scheduled for today.

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