AUDIO: LGBT Activist Heckles First Lady At Fundraiser

AP

Michelle Obama was confronted by an LGBT rights activist who interrupted the first lady’s speech at a private fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday night, according to a pool report.

Some 200 people attended the DNC fundraiser at a private home in Washington, D.C. When one protestor shouted for an executive order on gay rights and disrupted her speech, the first lady stood firm.

“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” Obama said, per the pool report. She left the podium and moved toward the protestor, saying they could “listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”

Heather Cronk, co-director of the LGBT rights group GetEQUAL, contacted a pool reporter and identified one of its members, Ellen Sturtz, as the heckler. Cronk said Sturtz was advocating for an executive order barring sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination by federal contractors.

Update: The Huffington Post spoke with Sturtz, who said she was disappointed in the first lady’s response. 

“Basically, I was asked by the first lady to be quiet, and I can’t be quiet any longer,” Sturtz said. “I was surprised by how negative the crowd seemed to be. It was actually a little unsettling and disturbing.”

Update: BuzzFeed has posted audio of the confrontation:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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