Mati Weiderpass, one of the two gay NYC hoteliers who ignited a firestorm after hosting a reception for Ted Cruz at their Manhattan penthouse last month, has penned an op-ed for The New York Observer in which he lashes out against so-called "gay extremists" who have called for boycotts of Wiederpass-owned establishments.
Shortly after news of the dinner broke, Weiderpass defended his dinner, saying "people on both sides of the aisle need to be able to communicate with one another even when they ideologically disagree." Later, however, Weiderpass issued an apology saying he "made a terrible mistake," and had "nullified my past efforts and accomplishments in just one week."
It's unclear then why Weiderpass has done yet another about-face and is now once again defending his decision.
Wrote Weiderpass in the op-ed:
Since hosting a discussion with Texas Senator Ted Cruz in my home, I have been inundated with hateful, biased social media messages, and attacks from gay extremists (do I dare say the word?) who demand inclusion, but do not believe in dialogue. I know in my heart that these attacks do not represent the rich culture and diversity of the gay community. Yet, in our community, as in so many others, the most vocal often dominate the conversation. I hope this op-ed will help heal wounds and continue necessary progress and discussion.
It is amazing that my businesses are being boycotted by some because I hosted a discussion with an elected official. Not a fundraiser. Not an endorsement. A dialogue. What would we say if the Jewish community organized a boycott of a business leader who hosted a private discussion with an important Muslim politician? We know the answer. I am a longtime leader of my community – and proud of who I am and what I have accomplished.
Boycotting me for a discussion? Since when have we grown so small and intolerant?
The next chapter for the advancement of gay rights will require even more support from across the aisle, as many State governments are controlled by Republicans. Although some would like it to be, being gay is not a political affiliation. (For the record, I am a registered Democrat).
Despite media reports to the contrary, I did not organize the Cruz dinner, but did embrace the opportunity—again, in a non-fundraising setting—to discuss a number of important issues, including support for Israel and support for gay rights. In a small group in my living room, I hosted a United States Senator Presidential candidate and asked him how he would feel if his daughter were to tell him she was lesbian. How often do you think he has been asked that?
In the original NYT article that broke the story, the paper noted Cruz "did not mention his opposition to same-sex marriage, saying only that marriage is an issue that should be left to the states."