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Gay Hotel Owner Donated Nearly $3K to Ted Cruz

 Protesters said gay patrons should not support the OUT Hotel after its owners met with Ted Cruz.
Protesters said gay patrons should not support the OUT Hotel after its owners met with Ted Cruz.
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DNAinfo/Danielle Tcholokian

HELL'S KITCHEN — OUT gay hotel co-owner Ian Reisner admitted Friday that he donated to Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign, but later asked for his money back.

Reisner, who along with his business partner Mati Weiderpass hosted a meeting with Cruz in April, initially said the event was not a fund-raiser, according to New York magazine.

But facing rising controversy from the LGBT community for meeting Cruz, Reisner changed his tune.

"In the interest of full transparency, I gave Senator Cruz a $2,700 check to show my support for his work on behalf of Israel," Reisner said in a statement.  "When I realized my donation could be misconstrued as supporting his anti-gay marriage agenda, I asked for the money back. Senator Cruz's office gave the money back, and I have no intention of giving any money to any politicians who do not fully support L.G.B.T. rights."

Cruz has a number of anti-gay political positions, and in April filed a bill that would establish a constitutional amendment protecting states that ban gay marriage. 

Gay activists were angered when The New York Times, reported that Reisner, who also owns much of the Fire Island Pines, met with the conservative Texas senator. The Times also first reported the donation.

Broadway Cares and the New York City Gay Men's Chorus canceled events at the hotel, and thousands joined a Facebook group for a boycott.

Reisner is a registered Republican, according to a spokeswoman, and recently hosted a fundraiser for another Republican, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

Cruz did not respond to a request for comment.