- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mati Weiderpass, the gay hotelier whose New York City hotel has faced an LGBT boycott since he and his business partner hosted a dinner for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, issued an op-ed Sunday blasting “gay extremists” for being “small and intolerant.”

Mr. Weiderpass and his business partner Ian Reisner had previously apologized to the gay community after facing intense backlash for meeting with the socially conservative presidential candidate in their Central Park South apartment on April 20. In an op-ed for the New York Observer, Mr. Weiderpass changed his tune and accused the protesters of committing a double standard.

“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,” he wrote.

“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,” Mr. Weiderpass continued. “Boycotting me for a discussion? Since when have we grown so small and intolerant?”

“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,” he wrote. “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 U.S., if the rights to free speech, expression, and association are whittled away, the gay community along with most other minority communities will be vulnerable to losing all that has been gained,” he argued. “Shunning dialogue with political opponents is not the road to advancement.

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