Gay Businessmen Say They Made 'Terrible Mistake' Hosting Cruz Event
A gay hotelier who hosted a dinner for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at his New York penthouse says he made a "terrible mistake" by not reviewing Cruz's record first.
Ian Reisner co-owns the Out NYC hotel and co-hosted the event last week with his business partner, Mati Weiderpass, who is also gay.
"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," Reisner said Sunday in a Facebook post. "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," Reisner continued. "I will try my best to make up for my poor judgement. Again, I am deeply sorry."
Weiderpass followed a few hours later with his own Facebook post. "I share in Ian's remorse. I, too, lay humbled with what has happened in the last week. I made a terrible mistake. Unfortunately, I cannot undo this. You taught me a painful but important lesson," he wrote.
"The people that know me know the work that I have done over the last 20 years for the advancement of gay rights," Weiderpass added. "Today, I came to realize that I might have nullified my past efforts and accomplishments in just one week. On the eve of this momentous legal occasion at the Supreme Court, I dedicate myself to work even harder to advance our cause that I share with the LGBT community; our community. Again, to all that I have hurt, please accept my sincerest apologies."
Cruz introduced a constitutional amendment Thursday that says "each State, territory, and possession thereof shall have the power to define marriage as limited to the union of one man and one woman."
“The union of a man and a woman has been the building block of society since the dawn of history, and the people in numerous states have repeatedly affirmed that truth in their laws," Cruz said. "Nothing in the Constitution prohibits that."
After Cruz's event was reported by the New York Times, along with his statement that he would "love our daughters unconditionally" if one came out as gay, his presidential campaign issued a statement saying his attendance at the event "is what it means to truly be a 'big tent Republican' instead of a panderer."
"The purpose of the meeting and the primary topics of conversation were national security, foreign policy, and America’s commitment to standing with Israel," Cruz said. "On the subject of marriage, when asked, I stated directly and unambiguously what everyone in the room already knew, that I oppose gay marriage and I support traditional marriage."
The Human Rights Campaign noted Cruz's attendance at "a bizarre gay Manhattan reception," but focused most of their anger on his amendment.
“By introducing this heinously anti-LGBT constitutional amendment, Ted Cruz has forced other presidential candidates to take a position,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC vice president for policy and political affairs. “Trying to garner support in a field of candidates from the far right, Cruz has no problem using LGBT equality as a wedge issue against fellow Republicans, even as the far majority of Americans strongly support marriage equality. While Cruz is clearly a radical anti-LGBT candidate, the question here is where do his fellow senators stand on these anti-LGBT bills...looking at you Senators Rubio and Paul.”