"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." These are the words of gay New York City hotelier Ian Reisner, who's taking no small amount of flak since hosting an unlikely presidential candidate: Ted Cruz, whose anti-gay marriage views are no secret. Yet last week saw Cruz at a reception at an apartment belonging to Reisner and Mati Weiderpass, two leading figures in the gay hotel industry, the New York Times reported. The event, dubbed a "fireside chat," prompted outrage from groups supportive of gay rights, Politico reports.
An AIDS fundraiser initially planned for a nightclub which Weiderpass and Reisner own was canceled: "We cannot in good conscience hold an event at a venue whose owners have alienated our community," said the head of the group involved. Meanwhile, a Facebook page calling for a boycott of the men's hotel has garnered more than 8,000 likes. "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 writes in his Facebook apology; he adds that he has been taking a closer look at Cruz's past statements, which he finds alarming. "I sincerely apologize for hurting the gay community and so many of our friends, family, allies, customers and employees."