WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama’s speech Tuesday evening at a private Democratic National Committee fundraiser was interrupted by a protester, who demanded equality for gays and lesbians. About 12 minutes into Obama’s 20-minute speech, a woman standing at the front of the crowd began yelling for an executive order on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.
“One of the things that I don’t do well is this,” replied Obama to loud applause. She left the lectern and approached the protester, inviting the woman to “listen to me, or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”
The crowd shouted that they wanted Obama to stay, and one woman near the protester said, “You need to go!”
The protester was then escorted out, saying she wanted “federal equality before I die.”
Heather Cronk, co-director of the pro-LGBT rights group GetEQUAL, said the protester was Ellen Sturtz, 56, one of the organization’s activists. Sturtz was calling for an executive order to bar discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBT groups have been disappointed that President Barack Obama has refused to issue such an order, while the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — which would prohibit such discrimination in hiring more broadly — remains stuck in Congress.
Read more at the Huffington Post.
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