A gay hotelier who hosted a fundraiser for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in his home last week has apologized after an intense backlash from gay rights activists.
“I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days,” Ian Reisner wrote on Facebook Sunday.
Reisner and his partner Mati Weiderpass own several New York City gay-themed venues, including Fire Island Pines and Out NYC Hotel.
They also hosted a fundraiser for Cruz, a 2016 presidential candidate, at their New York City home last Monday.
But after the small gathering was reported by The New York Times, gay activists organized an effort to make Reisner and Weiderpass pay. A Facebook page dedicated to boycotting Reisner’s and Weiderpass’ businesses was created. It called Cruz “one of the most vociferous anti-gay politicians in contemporary U.S. history.” Cruz opposes legalizing gay marriage at the federal level, saying he believes it is an issue that should be handled by individual states.
The nonprofit group Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS made the first move against Reisner and Weiderpass by announcing on Friday that it was canceling a strip show it planned to hold at their venue, 42 West. (RELATED: Group Cancels Gay-Themed Strip Show Because Venue Owners Met With Ted Cruz)
“I made a terrible mistake,” Reisner continued in his Facebook apology.
“I was ignorant, naive and much too quick in accepting a request to co-host a dinner with Cruz at my home without taking the time to completely understand all of his positions on gay rights. I’ve spent the past 24 hours reviewing videos of Cruz’ statements on gay marriage and I am shocked and angry. I sincerely apologize for hurting the gay community and so many of our friends, family, allies, customers and employees. I will try my best to make up for my poor judgement. Again, I am deeply sorry.”
“It’s inconceivable that any well-informed, aware adult in this country could not know where Ted Cruz stood on issues affecting the LGBT community,” wrote Keith Gibbons.
“Apology NOT accepted!! You knew EXACTLY what you were doing and with whom you were doing it, Monsieur!” added Charles West.
“This shows how white cis gendered gay men who have money feel about our movement,” seethed Bryan John Ellicott. “Cruz will not help our LGBT homeless youth or our transgender community who are the movement targeted groups in the community. Apology NOT accepted.”