The disturbing case of Ted Cruz and the gay hoteliers

If there is a worse example of our politics today than this, I’d hate to see it.

Conservatives Gather For Voter Values Summit

Ted Cruz, the ultra-conservative Texas senator running for the GOP’s presidential nomination, spent an evening last week visiting with about a dozen people at the Manhattan home of Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass, the gay proprietors of, among other properties, the Out NYC hotel. Cruz’s opinions about gay marriage are very different from those of the hoteliers. But — gasp! — he and Reisner, in particular, apparently agree about other issues, notably foreign policy and America’s relationship with Israel. So they met to talk about those issues.

Afterward, all hell broke loose.

Cruz was criticized by some social conservatives for the get-together, in part because he reportedly made some comments that reflected tolerance toward gay people. But this backlash was puny in comparison to what hit Reisner and Weiderpass.

For meeting with Cruz — not endorsing him, not holding a fund-raiser for him, but merely meeting with him — they face boycott threats against their businesses. Broadway Cares, an organization focused on H.I.V. and AIDS, canceled a large event that was to be held at one of their clubs. When Reisner finally capitulated with an apology on his Facebook page, the majority of people commenting rejected it as too little, too late and too self-serving.

Folks, we are in serious trouble when people who disagree with each other on one issue cannot even talk privately about another issue without both sides being criticized in public, and one of them facing a boycott. We hear all the time that Republicans must broaden their tent to include more groups of people, and yet when a Republican running for president meets with a person from one such group, the response is to castigate the latter person as a traitor who must be broken, socially and financially. We hear all the time that conservatives must learn to be more “tolerant” (a word I put in quotes because of how often it is misused in these discussions), and yet the more vicious backlash here, by far, was on the part of those who demand tolerance. We hear all the time that politics must focus more on what brings us together than on our divisions, and yet when two people attempt to talk about their common interests, critics put all the attention on that which divides.

If you have ever accused social conservatives of stubbornly injecting their sense of morality into all manner of other issues, perhaps you should take issue with the folks who wrung an apology out of Ian Reisner for having a conversation with a particular person and then told him it wasn’t good enough. If you think businesses that would deny any kind of service to a gay couple deserve whatever economic ruin comes their way, perhaps you should take a look at this case and wonder if a politicized, weaponized commerce might not one day be turned on someone closer to your positions.

Despite its popular usage today, “tolerance” does not mean demanding others deal with you on your terms alone — or that other people deal with others on … your terms alone. It does not mean punishing those who don’t act precisely as you’d have them act.

It means the opposite of those things.

Reader Comments 0

91 comments
Lakeside97
Lakeside97

The GOP is in denial.  There will never be another republican president. You can't be a racist and then call yourself a Christian.  You can't call yourself a Christian and then want to cut food stamps, oppose minimum wage increases and then blame the poor for our economic issues.  You can't claim to love freedom and liberty but then oppose gay marriage and recreational marijuana.  You can't call yourself a patriot but then vote for a republican party believes that "corporations are people my friend" (aka Mitt Romney).

Dusty2
Dusty2

Whether you like it or not, American citizens still have free speech.  Cruz is an American.  HE is the only who decides on what he wants to say and what he believes.


I don't like much of what the president says.  I don't like Hillary's past history I usually laugh at what Biden says.  The secretary of state makes me sigh.  If I am asked to vote for them, I will not.  But they can keep on talking. They have the right.


Kyle is writing about a single worse example of politics.  Maybe it is..  Kyle still  advocates free speech.  He just wishes some people would keep their mouths shut and their minds working! .



MHSmith
MHSmith

@Dusty2


I don't care if those people you want to shut up follow your instructions are not, if they are a Citizens of this country are not, let'em talk. It is very easy to tune them out as useless noise. 


So Cruz and a couple of homosexuals agree on a few things concerning Israel and it upsets a certain segment of homosexuals that cannot keep issues separate to reach something close to common ground and their conduct may be viewed as the worst part of politics, the Cruz gay meeting regardless of time and place puts the worst example of human nature on display, not just concerning our politics. 


The point in case made of either you're all for me one one issue or you're all against me on everything else is petty and childish. 


On other issues aside from keeping the sanctity of marriage  - with its' religious connotations -  separate from a civil union contract equal in law, it would not surprise me in the least extreme to find out the majority of Log Cabin Republicans agree with many heterosexual conservatives on fiscal policy, in near lock step. 


But we do have our petty wuddle fe fees that get in the way of moving forward on other issues of agreement, don't we? 



kitty72
kitty72

Ok, good point, Kyle.


It is just that Cruz seems so virulently homophobic that it makes it hard to take that you can have a tolerant conversation with him especially gays and Cruz. I see why people got upset but you have a point if they were just talking.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@kitty72 You have no idea of Cruz's inner thoughts, but you are quick to pin him with homophobia and intolerance.  An opposition to same sex marriage does not in itself make you homophobic.  Rubio said he was opposed to same sex marriage, but has homosexual friends and would attend their marriage if invited.  Is he homophobic and intolerant?  This is the same line of thought that if you oppose Obamacare, you have to be a racist.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister @kitty72 You have no idea of Cruz's inner thoughts,


I''m not sure we want to know. But based on his record I think we can say he doesn't really care for homosexuals that much.


Rubio said he was opposed to same sex marriage, but has homosexual friends and would attend their marriage if invited.  Is he homophobic and intolerant? 


A: Yes


This is the same line of thought that if you oppose Obamacare, you have to be a racist


Many are

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Face it, you boys are losing ground and you just don't like it.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Cruz and his hosts display actual tolerance, and you see the reaction from the liberal fascist left...

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/dublin-teacher-who-called-obama-anti-christian-rem/nk4yd/


I guess this is another case of bigotry on the left


Kyle has fallen into the same trap I have seen many fall into on the right


Pointing out that Ted Cruz is intolerant and a homophobe does not make the one pointing out that fact intolerant themselves.


You see this all the time with Christians who will cry they are being persecuted because they aren't allowed to discriminate against others. Look at the mosque issue in Kennesaw.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@HeadleyLamar So if you oppose mandatory vaccinations and fracking, you just have to be anti-science, right Headley?  The broad brush cuts both ways.

MHSmith
MHSmith

So you are not going to let the Clinton foundation gate post I placed on this blog to appear, Kyle? 



Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@MHSmith You can post to that thread. Others have still been commenting on it. I'd like to keep each thread on topic.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

Good article, Kyle and one I agree with. 


Being boycotted for just having a conversation is contrary to the movement the country should be going.   Perhaps other moderate Republicans can meet with other homosexual groups in a roundtable discussion that includes Democrats and Independents.  This would perhaps deter the criticism from either side claiming that the host is playing to "the other" side. 

Otherwise, it shows the hypocrisy of a few far-left wingers about trying to come together and have a conversation. 


Claver
Claver

Boycotting for simply meeting with him seems like the kind of public shaming over reaction social media is becoming infamous for.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?referrer=

Frankly, I think that the primary reason that gay marriage has become so much more socially accepted over the last ten years is that so many gays had the courage to come out of the closet.  It is a lot harder to hate a real person that you know than it is to hate a nonspecific "other."  While I doubt that Mr. Cruz will be changing his mind anytime soon, knowing more real people that are gay can only help.

bu2
bu2

Its amazing to hear the talk about the intolerant, self-righteous, bigoted people and realize the progressives AREN'T talking about themselves.

lvg
lvg

I wonder if Cruz considers his appearance before gays as a continuation of his Bataan Death March 

JamVet
JamVet

Christians and other of  different faiths and even other non-religious people as well oppose homosexuality. Christians will never go along with performing a so-called gay marriage or permitting one to take place in their church...

I would like to address this outright lie.

Could you possibly be more dishonest and willfully stupid when you wrote this, MH?

Seriously.

MANY churches and their preachers now conduct those marriages.

Just because YOUR brand of Christianity avers that homosexuals are essentially second class citizens in this country - as evidenced by the political policies that YOUR kind of Christian has endorse over the past twenty years - does not mean that your reactionary Republican bigotry is reflective AT ALL of the world's Christians.

FAR from it.

Millions and millions of Christians find your position disgusting.

And Jesus wold likely find your non-Christian views equally so...

MHSmith
MHSmith

@JamVet


Many Apostate churches and their preacher  maybe, but not  Bible believing churches and their preachers. For someone with your limited knowledge of Christianity and the Bible to make the kind ignorant comments you made isn't the least bit surprising to me.  



You can rewrite the Bible as many times as you like, call not getting the same results from the same rights discrimination as much as you would like but homosexuals have always had the same rights as any other heterosexual citizen. So you want to change the laws so heterosexuals have same sex civil union results as homosexual? Fine with me,but  I don't support them and actually can't as a matter of keeping the faith. 


As it has been said many time over Christians are to be in the world not of the world. 


I'm  fighting to keep so-called marriages out the Bible believing churches, which I support as described in the scripture from being force by law to perform your so-called gay marriages or making our churches available to them for that purpose.  


Tell you what brucie, when, if ever, you actually spend the time reading, PARTICULARLY, the new testament KJV version of the Bible and set aside what you think you know about the Bible, God and Christianity, you're going to discover how true are the things I've put forth from the scripture and far off you have been about the spiritual world  


By the way cupcakes you are truly welcome in any Bible believing-preaching church that I would attend. 

What people miss in all this is, we Christians don't hate homosexuals we the sin of homosexuality as the Bible tells us  to do in regards to all sin.      

kitty72
kitty72

@MHSmith @JamVet 


What about the part about loving your neighbor?...some of you "Bible believing" types don't seem to do that very well. Not from the rhetoric that I see by many of you.


Oh and no one wants to force that gays get married in a church that thinks they are abominations. Some may want  to push that but I don't see that you have anything to worry about there.

MHSmith
MHSmith

@kitty72 @MHSmith @JamVet


You and yours seem to always miss  the part when we say...  we Christians don't hate homosexuals, we hate the sin of homosexuality, as the Bible tells us  to do in regards to all sin.




The old Christian  adage of "we are to hate the sin but love the sinner" still remains true whether you witness it in action or not. Remember we some one is redeemed by the lord - saved- they are a work in progress to be perfected at a later date of God's choosing. 




As John said... Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is




But  from the rhetoric and actions I see from yours bunch, I know, not think, I need to push harder than ever.




This  one caught my eye as I was ready to post ...Oh and no one wants [government] to force that gays get married in a church that thinks they are abominations




We Christians and our churches don't make things up as we go along to believe in, we take our beliefs straight out of the Bible by rightly dividing the word of God. 




Here's something that will probably will rock a few socks off of some feet everywhere. Many people don't know that Pastor Joel Osteen  opposes gay marriage.




http://www.joelosteen.com




Kitty have you ever seen Joel Osteen? If you have can you say he HATES  anything, or anyone, other than SIN?  




I belief theologically in very near lock step with Osteen. 

MHSmith
MHSmith

"Equal rights" continues to mean "equal results"in the liberal and homosexual mind. 








MarkVV
MarkVV

@MHSmith 

Isn’t ir rather amazing how people like MHSmith know what is in the liberal and homosexual mind?

MHSmith
MHSmith

@MarkVV @MHSmith


Not really amazing at all, when people like me are told daily by liberals like you and homosexuals what is in your thinking, Curly. 



MarkVV
MarkVV

@MHSmith @MarkVV 

Really? Show the post where a homosexual told you what was on his/her mind. Should not be difficult, if it happens daily.

And while you are it, show the post where a liberal wrote that "equal rights" means "equal results."  

MHSmith
MHSmith

@MarkVV @MHSmith


This reply from you is one of them. Ever time a liberal says they are, or a homosexuals says they are being discriminated against because they cannot marry the person of their same sex.


Clue, Curly: Heterosexuals and homosexuals have, or had, under previous law exactly the same rights and conditions to meet in receiving a marriage license from a state government. No one, regardless of their sexual choice, could marry or get a marriage license from a state to marry someone of the same sex.


The gay liberal come back and convoluted attempt to make their demand of equal results mean equal rights:   


Oh but heterosexuals can marry the opposite sex person of their choice they love and want and can get a marriage license, where  gays cannot,  so what you libs and gays really want is not "equal rights", which you always had  and certainly under the same equal conditions but not "equal results" from the law for your happiness. 


The same old arguments remain, which means your mindset or thinking is so to predictable it is hard not to know where your thoughts are going.  


Which follows right along with your same old tired liberal-progressive continuance  - almost daily - advocating in one form or another, of or for, government redistribution of some type to achieve through the powers of government an “unearned equity”  for  people whose "equal rights"  didn't treat them with "equal results" in life. 


Thanks for the show,Really,  but don't bother dragging out anymore repeats or reruns, the theme has more than outlived any entertainment value it may have had. 



*

Nevertheless to end this thing would have been very easy as a matter of law. Let we Christians and our churches or other religious beliefs and their centers of worship  where marriage between a man and a woman is central to our faith retain the distinction of being called a marriage. For all  other unions let them have the distinction of being called civil unions. Both unions have exactly the same benefits and exclusions under man's laws. 


Since the term marriage no longer carries any more legal weight  than a same sex civil union, other than the traditional religious connotations which have so long been established as an exercise of religion, it should not pose any problems.

Starik
Starik

Ted Cruz is disturbing in any context.

Caius
Caius

Yeah.  I have friends who detest Justice Scalia because his best buddy on the court is Justice Ginsburg.  It is beyond their comprehension that someone so conservative could be friends with someone so liberal.


And I have friends who feel the same about Ginsburg, how could she actually be seen in public with a "dog" like Scalia.


"True Believers" are very intolerant. A lot of them make comments on this and other ajc blogs. 


Juanx
Juanx

After reading statements from both sides of the fray it seems Ted Cruz is the one causing such a divide by supporting the positions of a right wing anti LBGT group. Can't have it both ways. Cruz has to decide which position he wishes to pursue instead this mess. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Despite its popular usage today, “tolerance” does not mean demanding others deal with you on your terms alone...

When it comes to the AJC's liberal bloggers, I'm here to tell 'ya...

you're either all in or all out with those folks. There's no middle ground where they're concerned.

It's why I've become desensitized to their wants, needs, and opinions.

MarkVV
MarkVV

In the narrow case described in the column, the verdict should be clear – it was wrong to threaten or even use economic boycott.

When the issue becomes more general one of tolerance per se, however, it would be simplistic to insist on tolerance under all circumstances. Tolerance of intolerable is just as bad as intolerance to tolerable.

QueenCtown
QueenCtown

Cruz and the Republican party have promoted intolerance and hatred towards gays (and others) as a cheap way to win votes for way too long.   It is not wrong for those who have been hurt by such tactics to want to distance themselves as far as they can from even the hint of support for him and his ilk.  

UnaffiliatedVoter
UnaffiliatedVoter

Reisner should have NEVER apologized...we need MORE gay CONSERVATIVES !!!

Rich Smith
Rich Smith

Conservatives are oblivious (or more likely disingenuous) if they think that there is proportionality with respect to the issue of marriage. Those who campaign to end gay marriage lose nothing either way yet gay Americans risk losing a fundamental building block to happiness and security. Conservatives are always so quick to point out that they pursue this with only love and respect. Just save it, we only want the equality. Sorry if that Is interpreted as Intolerant....

Dusty2
Dusty2

I think Ted Cruz should be able to talk and meet with anyone he wishes.  Within the bounds of civility of course.  We learn to know the man by his actions and his words.  He has freedom of speech and actions just like the rest of us. 


After those considerations and those of other possible candidates, you can make a choice.  Vote for the one you think is the best suited to be president of the USA. 


Do not call others 'bigot" or "stupid" because it then seems to represent your own qualities.   Such self designations  are not pretty.  They do not bring us good leaders either. 

MHSmith
MHSmith

@Dusty2


I don't think Cruz should be able to talk and meet with anyone he wishes I KNOW HE HAS THAT RIGHT, though, I disagree with his tactics and nutty ideas. 

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

Nonsense, Kyle. Ted Cruz is not just some conservative guy who has an honest disagreement with the gay community over marriage. He's a guy who thunders his opposition to equality every chance he gets. He's basing his campaign on appeals to the most rabid anti gay folks in the Republican base. He has introduced bills to prohibit the federal courts from dealing with the issue.

The two guys who met with him deserved every bit of derision they received. 

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Leftists don't really believe in free speech, freedom of association, or tolerance.  When they hear speech they don't like, they don't see more speech as the answer.  They see punishment as the answer.

Liberal fascism makes Real Americans sick.

bu2
bu2

@Lil_Barry_Bailout 


Except for the extreme nationalism which they don't espouse, the left in the US has become very fascist.  They want to silence anyone who doesn't agree with them 100% and have the government promote their favored corporate businesses.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Kyle, the boycotters were just using money(spending or rather lack thereof) as speech. No different than the Koch Bros. Nothing wrong with free spech, huh?

bu2
bu2

@AvgGeorgian 


They are boycotting free speech.  That is the problem.

Mick11
Mick11

Personally, I'm outraged by the outrage, who wouldn't want to meet with ted cruz?  Is he for real or just so full of himself that what you see is what you get; enquiring minds would like to know...

GMFA
GMFA

For someone who has chosen to shut down the Government costing us billions and reading Dr. Seuss for 24 hours.it should come as no surprise that he is so polarizing.

lvg
lvg

Gays are intolerant just like right wing  religious conservatives of opposition views. Neither  wants to give an inch on political views.  I suspect Gays through intolerance have caused Cruz to pick up the homophobic votes. Hillary has a lock on the gay vote.

UnaffiliatedVoter
UnaffiliatedVoter

@lvg uh NO, Hitlary does NOT have a lock on ANY vote!   She WILL be derailed here shortly and the 'crackkks have no one else to win ...