Gay protesters shout down Michelle Obama at private event over ENDA

First Lady Michelle Obama was interrupted by gay rights protesters during a private event at a home in Washington, DC.

The protesters were demanding that the President issue an executive order banning job discrimination by federal contracts against gay and trans people. In essence, enacting the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as an executive order for federal contractors. (ENDA itself would make it a violation of federal law to discriminate in employment against gay and trans people.)

The White House press pool report has the details (in this case, written by HuffPo’s own Amanda Terkel:

Pool was ushered in as FLOTUS began speaking at 6:07 under a white tent in the backyard of the residence of Karen Dixon and Nan Schaffer in NW DC. FLOTUS was introduced by Dixon. Debbie Wasserman Schultz also in attendance.

Michelle-Obama-largeFLOTUS was wearing a dark blue sleeveless shirt dress, with a black belt and pumps.

Please check quotes with official transcript.

Most notable part of the event was an interruption from a protester about 12 minutes into the 20-minute speech. A pro-LGBT rights individual standing at the front began shouting for an executive order on gay rights. (Pool did not hear exactly what.)

“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” replied FLOTUS to loud applause. She left the lectern and moved over to the protester, saying they could “listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”

Crowd started shouting that they wanted FLOTUS to stay.

“You need to go!” said one woman near the protester.

The protester was then escorted out, shouting “…lesbian looking for federal equality before I die.” (First part of the quote was inaudible.) Pool could not get their name before they were taken out.

Heather Cronk, co-director of the pro-LGBT rights group GetEQUAL, contacted the pool and identified the protester as one of their activists, Ellen Sturtz.

Sturtz was calling for an executive order to bar discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Cronk said there were three other GetEQUAL activists at the event as well — two of them are college students. They are from OH, NC, and NM.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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