Gay hotelier Ian Reisner would like you to believe that he's just recently learned of Senator Ted Cruz's anti-gay record.
Prompted by threats of boycotts, a deluge of criticism on social media and the very public canceling of two events by major LGBT-focused charities at one of his venues, hotelier Ian Reisner issued an apology via Facebook Sunday for hosting a "fireside chat" with notoriously anti-gay Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) last week at the Manhattan penthouse he shares with his longtime partner Mati Weiderpass.
In addition to co-ownership of the Out Hotel in New York City, Reisner recently acquired close to 80 percent of the commercial property in the upscale gay resort mecca Fire Island Pines.
"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," Reisner claimed in his post. "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. I will try my best to make up for my poor judgement. Again, I am deeply sorry."
Reisner's apology online was met with quick criticism from skeptical Facebook users.
"Worst apology from someone who is educated on our issues. Everyone knows where Ted stands. You are a rich A list gay surrounded by like kind folks, protected from what Ted will do to the rest of us..." one Facebook user wrote.
Another Facebook user weighed in with this comment:
"Yes sure.. A businessman like you not aware of what Cruz stands for .. hahaha.....you suddenly realized of his ideas when all the events in your hotel started to cancel...didn't you? Your underestimation of people intelligence is really offensive...."
Following the party for Cruz at Reisner and Weiderpass' apartment Monday, the Senator filed two pieces of legislation with Congress aimed to curtail the advancement of marriage rights.
The self-abasing tone and claims of naivety over Cruz's anti-gay record in Reisner's post was in stark contrast with a statement he released Friday where he lauded himself for his past record.
"Senator Ted Cruz and I disagree strongly on the issue of gay marriage, but having an open dialogue with those who have differing political opinions is a part of what this country was founded on," Reisner said in his previous statement. "My tireless support of the gay community and its causes worldwide hasn't changed and will not change."
Yet in spite of his self-purported record of service to the LGBT community, two major charities cancelled fundraisers scheduled to take place at the Out Hotel owned by Reisner and Weiderpass.
"It is a rare instance where the actions of a donor negatively impacts us as an organization and potentially jeopardizes our relationship with others whose support is integral to our success," said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in a statement announcing the cancellation of his organization's upcoming fund raising event over the controversy. "But when it does occur, in a way that's blatantly against all we stand and work for, we can't pretend it doesn't come with consequences. Silence is not a neutral position. It is complicit."
In step with Viola, the New York City Gay Men's Chorus also issued a statement announcing the cancellation of their upcoming event.
"NYCGMC has a 35-year history of campaigning for human rights through our music. Our mission must always come first," the statement reads.
A protest rally is planned for Monday in front of the Out Hotel on 42nd Street.
From our media partner EDGE