Gay NYC hotel sold a year after being boycotted for hosting Ted Cruz fundraiser
A “straight-friendly” hotel which was last year the subject of a boycott after its owners hosted a Ted Cruz fundraiser and lied about it, has been sold.
The Texas Senator had pledged to “uphold the sacrament of marriage” when announcing his run for President last year – and later attended a fundraising event hosted by Mati Weiderpass and Ian Reisner, owners of Out NYC.
The event came as Cruz launched a desperate attempt to halt same-sex weddings, filing two bills that would attempt to nullify an expected Supreme Court ruling in favour of equal marriage in all 50 states.
After losing a number of corporate bookings for hosting Mr Cruz’s event, the hotel owners later apologised for supporting the politician, and it emerged that money was donated to the Senator for his Presidential campaign.
Ian Reisner wrote on Facebook: “I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. 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.
“I’ve spent the past 24 hours reviewing videos of Cruz’ statements on gay marriage and I am shocked and angry. I sincerely apologise for hurting the gay community and so many of our friends, family, allies, customers and employees.
“I will try my best to make up for my poor judgement. Again, I am deeply sorry.”
The owners have now sold the venture, which includes luxe rooms, a restaurant, spa and a nightclub, to Merchants Hospitality.
It is understood that the new owners will rebrand the hotel, and do away with its “straight-friendly” branding.
The hotel was sold amid falling occupancy rates.
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Following the controversy, Mr Reisner later told New York Magazine: “You know, it’s so ironic — I wanted to build kind of a community centre in the gateway to Hell’s Kitchen, which in 2008–2009 was already a gay place and now it’s even gayer. Very close to Broadway.
“My only point is, this has not been a profitable venture.”
“Gays are cheap. They’re frugal; gays are frugal. Let me retract that… gays are entitled… Do you know how challenging it is to make a penny off a gay person? I’m gay, I don’t pay cover. I’m gay, where’s my comp drink?”
Mr Cruz was picked as top choice for President in 2014 by attendees at the anti-gay Values Voter Summit – which is run by a group that regularly compares gay rights to the holocaust.
Other rumoured contenders for the Republican nomination include Dr Ben Carson – who damaged his chances by claiming prisons prove being gay is a choice – and Jeb Bush, who has recently hired an anti-gay activist to work on his campaign team.
Launching his campaign, Cruz pledged: “Instead of a federal government that works to undermine our values, imagine a federal government that works to defend the sanctity of human life, and to uphold the sacrament of marriage.”