WASHINGTON -- Ian Reisner, a gay businessman who hosted an event for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in New York this week, apologized on Sunday after furious backlash from the gay community.
Reisner and his longtime partner Mati Weiderpass hosted a "fireside chat" with the presidential candidate, who reportedly softened his notoriously anti-gay tone at the event by claiming that, if one of his daughters were gay, "I would love them just as much.” News of Cruz's appearance prompted a boycott of the two men's businesses.
In a statement posted to his Facebook page on Sunday, Reisner sought forgiveness for his "poor judgement," explaining that he did not do his homework on Cruz's record on marriage equality before agreeing to host the event.
"I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days.
First came a hotly-debated decision by Cooper Union to start charging its students after being tuition-free for generations.
Then came an investigation by the state attorney general into the school's management of its finances.
Over the past year, Cooper Union's reputation as a world-class training ground for engineers, architects and artists has taken a back seat to headlines about the investigation, a lawsuit over the imposition of tuition and the future of its president.
Some Cooper graduates and students hope all the turmoil results in more financial stability and maybe even a return to the tuition-free model that has been central to the school's unique, egalitarian character.
"We know that students have had to refuse our offer because they couldn't afford it," said Mike Essl, a Cooper Union alumnus and faculty member who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit over the decision to charge tuition starting with this year's freshman class.