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New York hotel owners on why they hosted Ted Cruz, and the backlash from the gay community

From left: Mati Weiderpass, Ted Cruz, Sam Domb, and Ian Reisner gather in Weiderpass’ apartment in April, for a ‘fireside chat’ set off a firestorm of reactions within the gay community.

From left: Mati Weiderpass, Ted Cruz, Sam Domb, and Ian Reisner gather in Weiderpass’ apartment in April, for a ‘fireside chat’ set off a firestorm of reactions within the gay community. Facebook

From left: Mati Weiderpass, Ted Cruz, Sam Domb, and Ian Reisner gather in Weiderpass’ apartment in April, for a ‘fireside chat’ set off a firestorm of reactions within the gay community.

From left: Mati Weiderpass, Ted Cruz, Sam Domb, and Ian Reisner gather in Weiderpass’ apartment in April, for a ‘fireside chat’ set off a firestorm of reactions within the gay community.

New York magazine:

Ten days ago, the real-estate investor Ian Reisner and his business and former romantic partner Mati Weiderpass — who, among other things, own the Out Hotel on West 42nd Street — had a dinner party at the duplex they still own together on Central Park South. Their guest that night was the vehemently conservative Texas senator and Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, and his wife.

Their old friend Kalman Sporn, an advisor to Cruz’s team on the Middle East, was the man who brought them all together, and after the food, they settled into the Art Deco chairs and had a “fireside chat”— yes, their fireplace works — discussing Israel and ISIS, as well as gay marriage (Cruz is very much against it, but danced around the subject that night by stressing the idea that he considered it a states’ rights issue).

But after Weiderpass posted about it on his Facebook page — he was proud of how he’d pressed Cruz to admit he’d love his daughter, even if she were gay — and the Times followed up with a story, it was their reputation that went up in flames.

As the LGBT Caucus of the New York City Council (and others) have pointed out, “owning businesses that cater to the LGBT community comes with a heightened level of responsibility,” and Cruz’s ideological record on gay issues is hardly a secret, and shouldn’t have been in any way the surprise to Reisner and Weiderpass that they claimed it was, after the fact.

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