HELL’S KITCHEN — The gay hoteliers who met with Sen. Ted Cruz last week said they regretted the move, but outraged boycotters said a protest outside the OUT Hotel planned for Monday evening was still on.
More than 9,000 people joined a Facebook group slamming OUT Hotel owners Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass for hosting the Republican presidential hopeful and gay marriage opponent at their penthouse.
“I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days,” Reisner posted on the boycotting group's Facebook page on Sunday night. “I made a terrible mistake. 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.”
Weiderpass, who earlier described the meeting as "one of those odd circumstances that just happened," wrote that he was “humbled” by the reaction. “The people that know me know the work that I have done over the last 20 years for the advancement of gay rights,” he wrote on Facebook. “Today, I came to realize that I might have nullified my past efforts and accomplishments in just one week.”
But boycotters said the apologies were not accepted.
“Ignorance and ‘I'm sorry’ are not excuses for advancing hate,” wrote group member Aaron Schwartz. “After 20 years of ‘advancing’ gay rights issues it took you an entire week to offer a pathetic and insufficient statement. Shame on you. You can't un-ring this bell.”
Some of the group's members said Reisner and Weiderpass, who also hosted a fundraiser for Republican Sen. Ron Johnson earlier this month and gave him an ancient coin as a gift, could not win their business back.
“One would think that Ian and Mati would make a statement and possibly balance their views on the upcoming election but what has happened here is they've been exposed as right wing Republicans and I don't see how they can make amends to the community or make up for the damage they've done,” wrote Jim Gomes, another user on the group’s Facebook wall.
“My money will NOT be spent on any business they own."
Cruz, Weiderpass and Reisner did not respond to requests for comment.