NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An openly gay New York City hotelier came under fire Monday for hosting U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who opposes gay marriage.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, a Facebook page calling for a boycott of the Out Hotel on 42nd Street – as well as several establishments in the Fire Island Pines district on Fire Island – had racked up about 10,000 likes as of Monday night.

The boycott came after Mati Weiderpass and Ian Reisner, who own the hotel and the Fire Island establishments Low Tea, Middle Tea, High Tea and the Pavilion, hosted a reception for Cruz and his wife at their Central Park South penthouse, according to the New York Times.

About a dozen people attended the dinner and fireside chat, and attendees speaking to the New York Times said Cruz would love any of his daughters just as much if she turned out to be gay. But Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate, has voiced strong opposition to gay marriage.

Michael Mallon, of the Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club of Queens, helped organize the protest.

“We find that repugnant,” Mallon said. “It’s much larger. Not a month ago Ian Reisner held a fundraiser for senator Johnson of Wisconsin who got a zero percent on the human campaign report card.”

Reisner issued an apology on Facebook and called hosting the dinner a terrible mistake.

“I was ignorant, naïve 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,” Reisner said in the Sunday evening statement. “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 also explained that the attendees at the dinner discussed issues on which they agreed with Cruz, such as support for Israel.

But Mallon said, “Only to talk about foreign policy? We find that very questionable.”

Three charities – Broadway Cares, the AIDS Walk, and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus – have also called off fundraisers at the Out Hotel, according to a published report.


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