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Out NYC Owner Defends Cruz Invitation, Blasts 'Gay Extremists'

Out NYC Owner Defends Cruz Invitation, Blasts 'Gay Extremists'


Mati Weiderpass writes in the New York Observer that he did the right thing by inviting the right-wing presidential candidate to dinner, all while making a very bad comparison.

Even after a boycott of his business, Out NYC Hotel owner Mati Weiderpass says he believes hosting a dinner for Republican presidential aspirant Ted Cruz was the right thing to do.

In a Sunday op-ed in the New York Observer, Weiderpass claims dialogue is needed with antigay leaders like Cruz to move the needle forward on LGBT equality. But that's after Weiderpass says "gay extremists" are attacking him for hosting the April dinner with his business partner Ian Reisner, a dinner he claims was not a fundraiser.

Weiderpass also makes a nonsensical, and likely offensive to many, comparison: "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?"

Of course, not all Muslims are anti-Semitic. But Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, is specifically anti-LGBT. Just last month, and a day after the Weiderpass-Reisner dinner, Cruz filed two bills that would stymie the advancement of marriage equality. On top of that, Cruz doesn't support protections for LGBT people against discrimination in employment or housing and defended antigay "conscience protections" for members of the military. He is far to the right of most politicians, including many Republicans, when it comes to LGBT rights.

In the Observer op-ed, Weiderpass attempts to justify the invitation by citing Cruz's support for Israel, claiming, "There are American politicians who are embracing Iran at the expense of Israel," though he names no names.

The piece is another whack at quelling the controversy, though the previous attempt -- an interview with New York magazine -- included quotes from Reisner calling gay people "cheap" and "entitled." And the latest defense of the businessmen's actions contradicts Reisner's earlier apology, in which he claimed ignorance when it came to Cruz's antigay ways and said nothing about hosting a "dialogue."

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