Owner of NYC gay-oriented hotel lashes out at ‘gay extremists’ over backlash for Ted Cruz dinner

Mati Weiderpass (right) with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz
Mati Weiderpass (right) with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz Facebook

NEW YORK — An owner of a gay-oriented New York City hotel lashed out at “extremists” who have urged a boycott over a dinner invitation to Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage.

But gay-rights advocates outraged by the invitation to the Republican presidential candidate say they will keep up the pressure by shunning all the properties owned by the men who hosted the dinner.

Hotelier Mati Weiderpass wrote in an op-ed piece in the New York Observer Sunday that since hosting the April 20 dinner he has been “inundated with hateful, biased social media messages, and attacks from gay extremists (do I dare say the word?) who demand inclusion, but do not believe in dialogue.”

“It is amazing that my businesses are being boycotted by some because I hosted a discussion with an elected official,” said Weiderpass, who owns The Out NYC in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen with Ian Reisner.

Opponents say Weiderpass and Reisner should have known that inviting Cruz would not sit well with the gay community they cater to.

“Don’t take my money with one hand and stab me in the back with the other,” said Ken Kidd, who works in administration at New York University.

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Kidd said he usually has a summer share in the gay beach community of Fire Island Pines, where Reisner and another partner own businesses including the Pavilion nightclub. If he goes to the Pines this summer, Kidd said, “it’ll be for a noisy protest.”

The Out NYC was billed as New York’s first gay boutique hotel when it opened in 2012. Several guests strolling out of the hotel Tuesday said they were not American and did not know anything about Cruz.

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