Video of Mrs. Obama being confronted by gay protester

CNN has the video of Mrs. Obama being confronted by a gay rights protester Tuesday night at an event at a lesbian couple’s home in Georgetown.

The protest was to raise awareness of the President’s earlier promise to sign an executive order banning job discrimination by federal contractors against gay and trans people.  There has been no sign of any movement on that issue, and the White House routinely tries to shift questions about the executive order to a discussion of passing ENDA in the Congress, which will never happen with a Republican US House, so it’s a deflection into doing nothing.

Here’s the video, then some discussion.

In my piece about this yesterday, I admitted to being equivocal about the protest – mostly because it wasn’t clear to me that this approach was the smartest way to advance an executive order banning job discrimination by federal contractors against gay and trans people.

Now that I know that this fundraiser was at the home of a lesbian couple, the protest – a gay protest – becomes a lot more relevant.  Though you still have the question of whether it’s appropriate to protest the First Lady, and whether it’s productive.

On those questions, LZ Granderson wrote an interesting piece for in which he defends the protest. Among other things of interest, Granderson is African-American. That matters because some of the criticism of those who heckled Mrs. Obama was that a white protester was heckling a black woman. So for a black man to defend the protest is relevant and interesting.

Granderson really wrote a great piece.

I’m a big fan of Michelle Obama’s, but if she’s going to be hitting the circuit to raise money for Democrats, she has to be prepared for heckling. Especially heckling from gay rights activists like the one who interrupted her speech Tuesday night.

“Lesbian looking for federal equality before I die.” That’s how Ellen Sturtz, the woman identified as the heckler, identified herself.

Apparently the first lady’s husband said something about signing an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sturtz had the nerve to ask the president to keep his word….

Still President Barack Obama made a promise: It’s not unreasonable to expect him to keep it.

mrs-obama-hecklerGranderson then talks about how Democrats in Illinois didn’t follow through on their promises to pass marriage equality in that state.  And interestingly, Granderson singled out the Illinois House black caucus for particular blame (I got criticized by some the other day for noting the same).

Granderson concludes with a riff about Democrats in the Senate throwing gays under the bus in the immigration bill:

But Democrats have trampled on that promise before, and fairly recently.

In 2009, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said he supported marriage for same-sex couples. But he recently opposed an amendment to the immigration reform bill that would have included same-sex couples because he thought it would make Republicans kill the bill. The Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee didn’t even want to vote on it. Basically Schumer wants same-sex couples to get married in his home state — but if you’re binational, he’ll let the government deport your spouse.

So the LGBT community gets tossed under the bus — again — as if our families are not worth voting for. As if we don’t deserve a public record of which Democrat is for us and which is against us.

Heckling Mrs. Obama wasn’t fair to her.

But taking the LGBT community for granted isn’t fair to us either.

It’s a powerful piece.  But what was interesting to me was that GetEqual’s protest struck a chord with someone outside of gay politics, who one might have considered sympathetic to Mrs. Obama.  I didn’t expect that.  I also didn’t expect the overwhelming publicity the protest received after the fact.  Certainly that publicity helped to educate people on the ENDA issue.

In the end, I stick by what I wrote.  The only reason to do a protest is to move the ball forward on issues you care about.  I was initially worried that this protest didn’t do that.  Now, I’m back in the undecided column. What do you think?

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | 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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107 Responses to “Video of Mrs. Obama being confronted by gay protester”

  1. Duncan says:

    ” 2) AF civil rights were achieved through peaceful, polite protest.” That one is especially hilarious / outrageous, because 1) Sturtz’s protest was peaceful and polite by 1950s/1960s Civil Rights Movement protests; 2) I’m old enough to remember how disturbed many ‘nice’ white people were by nonviolent protesting Negroes. Those of you who aren’t old enough can look up Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham jail, where he answers such people.

  2. Duncan says:

    I believe that a lot of Americans think that gay people already “have their rights,” because most Americans have no idea what that means. They may believe that a federal sexual-orientation antidiscrimination bill has already been passed. They may believe that local or state laws to that effect are effective everywhere. People thought that same-sex marriage was widespread long before it was legal anywhere, because recognition of domestic partnerships was commonly reported as “gay marriage.” The straight media are not very helpful on these matters, or on any, but the sloppy thinking of most citizens is also a factor; I’m not sure what can be done with that.

    A side thought on the claim that Sturtz’ protest was ill-timed: no protest is ever thought to be well-timed by its targets and their apologists. Calling a protest badly timed is almost always meant to distract attention from the issue, by people who object to any protests at all (at least, protests directed at their pet leaders and figureheads).

  3. Duncan says:

    I don’t particularly mind her anger. It’s at least halfway honest, unlike her husband’s response to protesters, which began as angry flailing around and has changed to patronizing mockery. “And I hardly think of the Obama’s [sic] as priviliged. He was a state Senator …” We must look to the future, not to the dead past, as Mr. Obama constantly tells us except when he chooses to dwell on the past himself. Whatever he was in the past, he became a member of the US Senate and then President of the United States: you can’t get much more elite and privileged than that. He and his family are highly unlikely ever to miss a meal or sleep under a bridge.

  4. Duncan says:

    Ellen Sturtz was *not* “just yelling randomly at a person with no meaningful political power.” If you’re yelling *at* a person, you’re not yelling randomly. If you choose someone who’s involved in the political process to the extent of fundraising for the Party at the national level, you’re not yelling randomly. True, Mrs. Obama has no meaningful political power — though how many times have her husband’s critics been told over the past four years that he has no political power because of Teh Republicans? — but she’s not a random person. This comment is despicable apologetics.

  5. Ok, I’m firmly on Ellen’s side here and frankly everyone calling her a Racist needs to step back and look at the reaction Michele had to being disagreed with in a Lesbian home! Her reaction was basically that she was there doing THEM a favor while being there to ask for money! I call BULLSHIT on that reaction! She was there to stump for money for the DNC and should have had a lot more grace in her reaction to a democratic lesbian asking why promises made had not been kept!

  6. I totally am agreeing that the ID’s behind UP Arrows is a great thing but I disagree that down arrows should be disabled. They should be kept and ID’d! You can’t win a debate by stifling disagreement. You have to silence it through well articulated and factual evidence!

  7. BeccaM says:

    Figures. Good research there, my friend. You’re right — also a lot of very similar names and a consistent pattern among them of not using initial caps in the name.

    I mean, we’re constantly ragging on the President here. I did find it weird that only a few were actually commenting on the one side (in this post, there was only ‘cyberkim’ for instance), but every comment the other way, even when mildly critical, were getting the “I hate you” barrage. That’s some seriously trollish obsession.

  8. karmanot says:

    They come in swarms sometimes and you can ferret them out by actually seeing them on the up arrow sometimes when they like a negative reactionary or conservative comment. Gun threads are particularly easy to

    dissect. However the smarter ones use ‘guest’ to hide.

  9. karmanot says:

    I noticed that several people with the same last names are working both the up vote, ( where their ids are exposed) when it negates a positive statement by regulars supporting Ellen Sturtz, and the down vote. It’s a concerted effort to troll. I’ve not seen these names before on the usual threads. They probably fly under ‘guest’ if at all. The same bunch do gun fetish articles and other brainless conservative ‘ditto head’ concepts.

  10. Skeptical Cicada says:


  11. Anthony Eitnier says:

    Actually, depriving Michelle of disagreement because of her color would be racist – and I’m pretty sure she would agree with that too. Although I’m sure she would have been perfectly happy not to have encountered Ellen. If someone refused to disagree with me or debate with me solely because I was gay, that would annoy the hell out of me.

  12. Anthony Eitnier says:

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I understand that Disqus is a separate system which cannot be individually controlled by your site. I do think it is interesting that some people have certain suspicions about who is behind the down arrows.

  13. Moderator4 says:

    If you hover your mouse arrow over the number of “likes,” you will see the names of the up-raters. Disqus does this automatically. However, the down-raters are unidentified, and we have no way to track their IP’s or otherwise identify them, ourselves.

  14. Anthony Eitnier says:

    Sounds like they should track IPs for the up and down arrows as well. As for timing, good timing is not a luxury that everyone has, especially when it costs $500 a pop to even have access to political ears. I don’t know John Aravosis or his background, so it is hard to comment on his opinions. I am a American in a binational relationship with a German and have been forced to live outside the United States for nearly two decades to stay with my partner. Clearly, I’m the kind of person who wants some very loud screaming. And I get the concept of “I want my equality before I die” much better than 99.99% of the LGBT community. If Michelle felt uncomfortable with being interrupted, she should try being kicked out of her country for most of her adult life. That might bring a little more perspective to her sensibilities. I suspect it might make John Aravosis feel the protest was somewhat more appropriate as well.

  15. cyberkim says:

    Now let’s add arrogance to the name calling and sniping. Great.

  16. cyberkim says:

    Perhaps she did, but sadly for Ellen the crowd didn’t want to hear it and chose to vocally and boisterously side with Obama. End of story…..but I’m sure you’ll keep it going with more name calling and some dismissive snipe about ‘pablum’.

    Skeptical cicada, making a poor case even worse.

  17. karmanot says:


  18. mirth says:

    I think of you as well, from time to time, and I have no doubt that any troll stands a chance to score against you. They may hope to dim your brilliance, but ain’t agonna happen.

  19. karmanot says:


  20. karmanot says:

    Missed you Mirth, was thinking about you the other day. Welcome. I am getting into trouble as usual and the ninja trolls are upon me! LOL. :-)

  21. karmanot says:

    It’s a rigged troll attack.

  22. karmanot says:

    I’m totally maxed out on Mrs. Obozo.

  23. mirth says:

    Good to see you too, Friend.

  24. karmanot says:

    same here!

  25. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Heck, I haven’t even been able to record arrow clicks for months since the big Discus “upgrade.” :)

  26. mirth says:

    I totally agree. I’ve seen a good blog’s threads, where I usually comment, ruined by these cowards intent on skewing obvious agreements of opinions. Good, informed people, even those I may disagree with but who add intelligence and flavor to a conversation, are leaving or commenting much less often.

    If down-voters are IDed, we would mostly see “Guest,” which does not ID them, so again I agree that eliminating down-votes altogether is preferable and it would encourage comments from those who are in disagreement with something written.

    More comments; eliminating down-votes, if Disqus has this option, is a win for any blog.

  27. BeccaM says:

    I agree. I think some folks would be less inclined to hit that down-vote button if they knew their ID was behind it.

    I’ve already said a bunch of times though that I wish John would find some way to disable down-voting altogether. I feel it’s unnecessarily disruptive, and especially since it’s anonymous, it encourages trollish behavior.

  28. mirth says:

    Pity that down-voters aren’t identified like the up-voters, although I do applaud Ab for enabling the up identities.

  29. FunMe says:

    “Heckling Mrs. Obama wasn’t fair to her.
    But taking the LGBT community for granted isn’t fair to us either.”


  30. FLL says:

    I notice that Disqus will show you who gave you an up-arrow if you hover your mouse over the up-arrow votes, but it won’t show you who gave you a down-arrow. I guess the Disqus interface just isn’t capable of that. Or am I wrong? I suppose the moderators would know.

  31. BeccaM says:

    A pleasure to see you here again, too, Mirth. I’ve missed ya.

  32. FLL says:

    LOL. GOProud: Gay but gay-rights-free!

  33. mirth says:

    Appreciate the info, Becca. Always good to read you.

    I’m an average person; my thinking is usually in the majority. So I’m not too surprised that this ignorance is widely shared. Like me, many more people, including people around the world thanks to yesterday’s news coverage, now know about this discrimination and a better informed public can have much better informed conversations. For this alone, we owe Ellen Sturtz and GetEqual our gratitude.

    PS: When this story broke, my opinion of Ms. Obama fell, but in thinking about it, after her shocking and mega-disgraceful Max out! Max out! Max out!, it didn’t have far to go to the bottom. Now, in my mind, she and her husband are on an equal footing. Never again, in my mind, will she get “only a wife” cover.

  34. FLL says:

    Great link to that survey. The average American already thinks: “Why would you need an ENDA executive order for the federal government? It’s already the law, right?” The media needs to keep Americans better informed, and protests like this one will force the media to do that. Yet another benefit of direct action protests.

  35. mirth says:

    Good grab, FLL. Even more shocking to me was that the “racist”-flingers, most who identified themselves as African American, didn’t seem to be coming from some personal grievance. Additionally, their opinion was largely divided into two stances, essentially: 1) When will gays be satisfied with all that Obama has given them and 2) AF civil rights were achieved through peaceful, polite protest.

    Here at AB, what has to me been disquieting is John’s equivocal opinion rather than a fist-pump in the air. Time and time again he has written that Dems (pretty sure that ES isn’t an R and Gay rights certainly isn’t a part of the R platform) are wimps and in Washington the only ways to achieve what you want is to be fight hard and dirty like the Republicans. Even more disturbing is that he sees Michele only as a “man’s wife” rather than, in this instance, a DNC fundraiser.

  36. BeccaM says:

    Or even thought it was necessary or important. As I noted in another comment above, a 2011 survey indicated that 90% of those polled thought it was already illegal at the federal level to discriminated against gay people in employment.

  37. BeccaM says:

    From a June 2011 report:

    The (Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research) survey also found that 9 of out 10 voters erroneously think that a federal law is already in place protecting gay and transgender people from workplace discrimination. A similar number of voters also did not know whether their state had a gay and transgender workplace discrimination law. These numbers show the huge disconnect between voter perceptions about workplace protections and the realities that gay and transgender people face on the job.

    I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that lots of folks think there’s already some kind of anti-discrimination requirement for companies receiving federal funds. As it turns out, these companies are only bound by state-level ENDAs if such exist, and only for those portions of their business that actually take place within those states.

    So, Boeing’s plant in Washington State, yep, you can come out as gay or transgendered and they can’t fire you. Their plant in South Carolina? No protections at all. Your supervisor can say, “I hate gays. Pack your things and get out of here.” — and it’s perfectly legal. Even if what they’re building is planes for the Pentagon.

  38. BeccaM says:

    No, it’s just that if you read through this comment thread, you’ll actually see not that many people posting rebuttals to the generally prevailing “Ms. Obama shouldn’t expect kid-gloves treatment when at political events” attitude.

    I’ll be fair and say that it’s not a universally held opinion. For instance, our proprietor, John Aravosis, does think the protest wasn’t appropriate. And just below this sub-thread, Cyberkim thinks the poor timing was a serious issue. S1amer has an issue with the shouting.

    That’s three people on the “don’t agree” side actually participating in the comment thread. Yet comments from the other side of the debate are often receiving 10+ down-votes. So one theory some of us have is there is just one or two people with a bunch of multiple Disqus accounts who then cycle between them to make it seem like there are swarms of unhappy Obama supporters who are being mortally offended every time there’s a critical comment.

    One reason for down-vote sock puppetry as opposed to actually commenting is that comment IPs are tracked, and this blog does seriously frown on posting comments from multiple accounts. The Mods can and do track it.

  39. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Oh, please. Anybody at that level should LONG since have learned how to deal with a heckler. Funny how she never came unglued at Tea Party hecklers. But the lesbian–the supposed coalition partner who is told to “max out” for the party–gets met with a passive-aggressive tantrum. That it came across poorly for MO is well deserved.

  40. FLL says:

    You’re right. That quote from “benbosmar” on the previous thread (at this link) bears repeating:

    “I’m glad Michelle basically told Sturtz to go fuck herself because this had me flashing back to every white girl who ever got up in my face, issuing orders, rolling her eyes, throwing tantrums, and demanding to be catered to…just ’cause. That is a very real, very constant part of POC life in America. You can be the First Lady of the United States of America, and it obviously won’t change a damn thing.”

    This commenter, benbosmar, is clearly trying to burden everyone with her personal resentments, which really doesn’t shed any light on anything.

  41. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Um, she did try to take the mic. There was no offer. It was part of Obama’s passive-aggressive tantrum.

  42. Skeptical Cicada says:

    When I see a comment that warrants a fuller response, I don’t hesitate. Your Obamabot pablum didn’t.

  43. Skeptical Cicada says:

    They *despise* GetEqual for not being subservient to the Democratic Party, like HRC is.

  44. mirth says:

    Yesterday, what I found most disturbing from Michele’s supporters was the assertion of racism, that a White woman confronting a Black woman is, automatically (yes, that word was used), a racist. Lots of up-arrows on the agreeing comments.

    I read widely and one focus is news of the GLBT community and, as naive as it may seem, before yesterday I thought receivers of government funds had to comply with anti-discrimination laws. I thought that was a given.

    So I extend a personal thank you to Ellen. Because of her remarkable bravery I am better informed.

  45. BeccaM says:

    Well, there’s GOProud, the group of gay Republicans whose political agenda is entirely free of anything related to gay rights. I’d consider them essentially outside of gay politics.

  46. FLL says:

    Up-arrow! A reply with a counter-argument is always more convincing than a down-arrow.

  47. FLL says:

    I doubt if many average Americans had even heard of the ENDA executive order before this.

  48. BeccaM says:

    As I’ve remarked a bunch of times: The purpose of a protest is to get your cause into the news.

    Days later and people are still talking about it. Two months ago, before the protests, nobody was.

  49. BeccaM says:

    Get ready for your own barrage of down-arrows.

    What I do find amusing sometimes is how whoever it is will then seek out every single comment in the thread by that same person and apply more down-arrows, even when the comment is totally innocuous.

    I figure it’s the Disqus version of a tantrum. “I hate you I hate you I hate you I hate you!”

    Personally, I only downvote genuinely objectionable comments. Not merely because I disagree with them.

  50. FLL says:

    “Shouldn’t we vote for someone else?”

    Or maybe even donate to GetEQUAL like we did in 2010? [The audience gasps.]

  51. BeccaM says:

    Excellent points, and thanks for clarifying.

    What’s I find interesting is the silence when we counter with, “Sure — but my Representative/Senator/President is a Democrat. What do I do when they’re the one doing the thwarting? If I write and write and write and they still won’t do the right thing, what then? Do I keep returning them to office? Shouldn’t we vote for someone else?”

  52. Sweetie says:

    “Politicians have traditionally hidden behind three things: the flag, the
    bible, and children.

    No child left behind, no child left behind.
    Really? Not long ago you were talking about giving kids a head start.
    Head start, left behind… Someone’s losing fucking ground here.” — GC

  53. Anthony Eitnier says:

    Hey, I think Skeptical Cicada is right. All the comments that are critical of Michelle seem to have a suspicious number of down arrows, no matter how well thought out they are. So not cool!!! If someone wants to defend Michelle then I suggest they clearly articulate just why she had the right to demand dollars without any obligation to take some of the heat. So far, nobody is addressing the actual issue which is: why won’t Obama sign that executive order and why did the Dems pull binational couples out of immigration reform? Maybe we all need to start screaming so we can finally get some answers!

  54. Anthony Eitnier says:

    What do you mean? Is HRC trying to suppress comments like mine?

  55. cyberkim says:

    …..and so Michelle Obama is not likely to be elected for office because the PR machine is working now on this bit of stupidity. Really, what is the issue here – that the first lady is human? Let’s move on.

  56. BeccaM says:

    “We need you to keep on writing those checks!” Mrs. Obama urged. “And if you haven’t maxed out, you know, what’s my motto? Max out! Let’s say it again, max out! And if you’ve maxed out, get your friends to max out.” She stopped to contemplate her own fundraising terminology for a moment,“Maxing out. Sounds kind of baller, too…Everyone here should be maxed out.”

    – Michelle Obama, speaking at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on New York City’s Upper East Side, 29 May 2013.

    There’s political, and then there’s non-political. As far as I’m concerned, Michelle has put herself well into the political arena and had best not be surprised at facing audiences that are less than 100% supportive.

  57. cyberkim says:

    Nothing respectful about offering the mic? Really? I should think that if Ellen felt her cause needed to be shouted in the middle of the FLOTUS speech, she would have LOVED the offer and taken it, if she indeed needed to say her bit at that precise moment. Rude is rude, and how one deals with rude shouldn’t be the focus here. After all, Michelle was ASKED to speak and she graciously was doing precisely that. The kind of protest that Ellen did, and to the one person who isn’t a policymaker, only makes her position and cause take a hit from people who are generally sympathetic. Ellen’s was a lousy move and whether you want to admit it or not, it made her cause take an unnecessary hit.

  58. FLL says:

    You’re right to say that this syndrome cuts across all demographics. I was only using the case of some members of the Illinois Black caucus as an example of people who want election reform to prevent suppression of the African-American vote…but were told to “go and get some Republican votes” for election reform. Likewise, I was only using the example of a commenter named “benbosmar” on the previous thread because as a straight black woman, I thought she would certainly be interested in women’s reproductive rights. Here’s a small cut from the beginning and end of her post on the other thread (link is here):

    “As a straight black woman who actively supports GLBT causes I think the protester disrespected the home where she was an invited guest and she disrespected the first lady…Write your congressman and tell him to stop thwarting the agenda and maybe we can get some legislation passed.”

    All demographics are involved in this nonsense. I only chose the two examples above to show what it’s like when the shoe is on the other foot.

  59. cyberkim says:

    Ah, yes…name calling and sniping….what a nice way to effectively debate your point.

  60. Skeptical Cicada says:

    ;-) Just sayin’

  61. FLL says:


  62. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I certainly don’t praise Chris Christie. I find him obnoxious and vile.

  63. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Thanks, Obamabot. The idea that you’d ever be on the fence is laughable.

  64. Skeptical Cicada says:

    I like how HRC is now just using its multiple accounts to click down arrows without even attempting to post comments.

  65. BeccaM says:

    Brilliant observation, FLL. And I think it is almost entirely on the mark.

    “Don’t blame us for constantly stabbing you in the back. Go throw yourselves uselessly at the opposition which has never supported you, rather than holding us to our original promises.”

    As near as I can tell, it’s a deliberate political strategy, this attempt on the part of the Dems to have it both ways on nearly every issue of importance.

    – We’re for women’s reproductive freedoms…but we’ll vote to keep on restricting access, because we don’t want people to think we’re actually pro-Choice.
    – We’re for preserving Social Security and Medicare…but look how serious we are on cutting the budget, so much so we’ll literally cut SS/Medicare.
    – We’re for protecting the environment…but pay no attention to the Keystone XL pipeline.
    – We’re strong on Defense and National Security…but look GOPers, we’ll keep putting your people in charge of all the important bits, including SecDef and FBI director.
    – We gave you LGBTs a hate crimes law… but don’t expect us to enforce it, because that’d rile the bigots, especially if we were to bring some high profile cases into the news cycles.

    The only quibble I’d have is I don’t think the use of this is limited to a few small demographics. It seems to be endemic among all the apologists, as well as increasing numbers of the Dem leaders actually in a position to do something positive about these issues. Obama himself most of all.

    I mean, I personally consider it an insult that the excuse for not having that executive order is we have to somehow do the party Whip’s job and round up votes — including large numbers of GOP votes — to pass ENDA in Congress. Especially since when ENDA actually was up for consideration and the Dems had their majorities, the president didn’t lift a finger to help lobby for it.

    Or throughout the DADT repeal process when the push to remove anti-discrimination language came from the WH, and the President refused to impose a temporary moratorium on discharges, and signaled several times he didn’t especially want the repeal to come to a vote in 2010, and added a totally unnecessary condition for yet another implementation ‘study,’ and then dragged his feet for months (not days or weeks as was originally promised) to issue the certification. I mean, it was as if he wanted the whole thing to fall apart and fail.

    Again and again, a refusal from the Dem leaders to do what they can do, promised to do, and were elected to do — followed by criticism of the activists, telling us to go spend our energy attempting the impossible.

  66. Skeptical Cicada says:

    Wow, the quote sounds like somebody at HRC had an unplugged moment!

  67. Skeptical Cicada says:


  68. Skeptical Cicada says:

    It was pretty clear that it was a lesbian couple from the first reports of the event where it was described as having been hosted by two women in “their backyard.”

    The Granderson piece was excellent, except for dismissing presidential spouses as having no role in policy or politics. We know that’s absolutely not true.

    Because you can’t hear much of anything, the CNN video doesn’t seem to add anything useful to the reports, except in contradicting the White House’s attempt to remove her threat to leave from the transcript.

  69. karmanot says:

    Ellen’s timing was brilliant and has been a running national meme for several days now. It’s not a matter of bringing GLYBQ civil rights issues to the Obama’s attention, they could care less and deserve what ever disrespect comes their way in a free democracy. Boo, Michelle……

  70. karmanot says:

    crawling with your tail between your legs is so much more respectful

  71. karmanot says:


  72. karmanot says:

    very like!

  73. Sweetie says:

    (and who haven’t been drone bombed by the POTUS).

  74. Sweetie says:


  75. Sweetie says:

    “Now that I know that this fundraiser was at the home of a lesbian
    couple, the protest – a gay protest – becomes a lot more relevant.”


  76. basenjilover says:

    After the 5 Democratic Senators (Frankin, Durbin, Feinstein, Schumer and Leahy) threw gays under the bus by not including gay families in immigration reform just to appease the Republicans, House rejected the reform. Who else will these 5 Senators throw under the bus? According to Democratic Party, LGBT community is expendable. So i applaud and support the gay protester for having the guts to stand up to Michelle and the Democratic establishment.

  77. Whitewitch says:

    Or until their son or daughter comes out of the closet, or until they have the inconvenience of having their “community organization” questioned by the IRS, or their wife, sister or daughter is raped.

  78. FLL says:

    Yeah, I didn’t know for sure, but I kind of thought O’Donnell was just posing. In my original comment, I wasn’t trying to broadbrush either women or people of color. I was only saying that from the comments I have seen across the Internet so far, the majority of the commenters who have suggested that gay people should “go get some Republican votes” have been either people of color or women. However, I’m convinced that they are only a small minority of people of color and women.

  79. Whitewitch says:

    Agreed…sorry thought you were broadbrushing women…my bad.

    O’Donnell was no wiccan – take it from a wiccan who has been so for over 40 years. She was playing the “teenager witch” game. And it came back to bite her squarely in the rump-as the law of return provides.

  80. FLL says:

    No sane woman or man would want to use this meme. It’s interesting where you see open homophobia. Among men, I see the majority of homophobia in the clergy since denominations that support female clergy are usually progressive. Among women, I see the majority of homophobia in electoral politics. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann are two of the better known examples. And then there were some really homophobic statements from Christine O’Donnell, who recently ran for senator from Delaware. O’Donnell is Wiccan, I think, although perhaps she dropped her affiliation with Wicca before running for office. In any case, Whitewitch, thank you for your support of equal rights.

  81. Right, first, you try being confronted during a speech and see how your fuse does :) I do think it was unwise of her to get angry, I don’t think it looks good PR-wise. But I totally understand WHY she got angry. And I hardly think of the Obama’s as privileged. He was a state Senator and before that a community activist, hardly the stuff of America’s “great families.”

  82. Whitewitch says:

    It certainly does, just like being a woman makes you part of women’s politics. Just because some refuses to act that cause does not put them outside of the politics of who they are.

  83. Being gay doesn’t make you a part of gay politics :)

  84. cole3244 says:

    talking about children is an easy gig and also important, but as we see in america once children hit adulthood they can be ignored and discriminated against as the lgbt community is, might i add violence and murder to those societal threats.
    again the obama household seems to take the perceived left leaning agenda with a grain of salt which they never do with the rw in america, anger always seems to be directed at the progressive community more often than not imo.
    the election is over and the left are on their own to be sure as they have been since 2008.

  85. Whitewitch says:

    I think I agree with you FLL, but I am sad that you think any woman (well sane woman) would use this meme against any one. We know the futility of lobbying Republicans for any sane, fair or logical solution. I support protesting those that we might actually be on our side for their NON-action. NON-action is worse than what the Republicans do, because these Non-Action persons are supposed to be on our side.

  86. Whitewitch says:

    I think I have said this before – albeit bad timing could be pronounced, I wonder if the speaker found her thought of children being abused, shamed and mistreated about their orientation could possible have caused her to speak at that moment. I can share that sometimes my own “protest moments” have been spurred by an overwhelming emotional rise.

  87. dcinsider says:


  88. FLL says:

    It did draw media attention to the ENDA executive order, did it not? That’s the name of the game, and the people at GetEQUAL are savvy enough to know that. I can’t help but notice that the video was supplied to the media by GetEQUAL. I think the folks at GetEQUAL know what they’re doing.

  89. lynchie says:

    Right and other issues as well.

  90. dcinsider says:

    If it works, and this did, then it is an “appropriate” protest, no matter how many people think it’s inappropriate.

  91. FLL says:

    As a practical point, the First Lady doesn’t attend that many fundraisers or purely political events, and the President is present at countless fundraisers and political events. For both practical and strategic reasons, the President should be the primary target, not Michelle Obama. As for the homophobic bigots, this is their new script, in case you haven’t noticed:

    “I want to be amused by watching people I dislike waste their time and energy by engaging in a completely futile, nonproductive activity and, if possible, be physically harmed in the process. I would like all those worthless queer voters to lobby or protest congressional Republicans in a hopeless effort to get them to change votes on ENDA. I know that far from promising to support ENDA, congressional Republicans ran campaigns promising to never extend federal gay rights. I want to laugh at these queers while they receive nothing but insults and physical abuse for their efforts, and that is why I’m making the irrational suggestion that gay voters ‘go and get some Republican votes’ rather than lobbying and protesting the very Democrats who promised action on federal gay rights. And by the way, I think that my nasty, insulting suggestion is witty, and the whole dilemma for gay people is absolutely hilarious.”

    Have we had enough of this? Can this new script, this new meme, just please die? If it doesn’t, people of conscience should throw this nasty suggestion back in the bigot’s face. My guess is that very few of the bigots making this suggestion are straight white males. The majority of the bigots who are using this new script are people of color or straight women or both. If it’s people of color who use this new insult, remind them that Republican governors and state officials aggressively try to suppress the non-white vote, especially during presidential races in places like Ohio and Florida. Tell the bigots to “go and get some Republican votes” for election reform. If it’s straight women who use this new insult, tell them that Republicans go to any length to restrict women’s reproductive choices and access to birth control. Tell the bigots to “go and get some Republican votes” for positive congressional action on reproductive choice and birth control access. Not so hilarious anymore, is it? In the meantime, please do the logical thing and lobby/protest the Democrats, including the President, who promised action on federal gay rights.

  92. chrisdarling says:

    Michelle Obama deserves what she got. Obama remains a wimpy proponent for much of anything that helps anybody other than the big corporations or the wealthy. He already came out for gay marriage. An executive order banning discrimination against gays and trans people by federal contractors cannot cause any serious political problems especially since he is done with elections. I am surprised that the LGBT community is not pushing Obama every chance it can to get the executive order signed. Why should Michelle be exempt from political pressure? She is used for political purposes by the Administration as have all First Ladies

  93. Stu Smith says:

    Mike Check anyone. “I want my equality before I die.”

  94. gaylib says:

    “someone outside of gay politics,” You do know that Granderson is gay, don’t you? How is he outside gay politics?

  95. Anthony Eitnier says:

    Thank you Ms. Sturtz for drawing so much attention to Obama’s failure to sign that executive order. Similarly, the Dems removal of binational couples from immigration reform was a MAJOR betrayal. The LGBT community not only has a right but an obligation to demand our leaders represent us and advocate for our equality. It time that we all get a little louder and demand our equality now. Ms. Sturtz’s statement “I want my equality before I die” is a great rallying cry. I, for one, will be repeating it in the future.

  96. cyberkim says:

    Timing is everything, and Ellen’s timing sucked.

  97. cyberkim says:

    Please don’t suggest that Michelle Obama is ‘cruising through life with nary a financial worry’ – that is certainly not how the first couple have conveyed themselves over the years and doesn’t speak AT ALL to the situation she faced at the event yesterday. “Short fuse”? Chris Christie has a short fuse with hecklers who have responded to his noxious dismantling of public service, and the media calls him unflinching and strong. It burns me that a woman such as Michelle can’t respectfully tell the heckler to take over the mic or shut up. Seems a great response to me. The heckler got her name in lights and her cause on a marquis – which is good news because it’s a valid and good cause. But her method and timing sucked.

  98. Monoceros Forth says:

    The Rosa Parks comparison has been made here previously and I don’t buy it. Parks was hoping to mount a legal challenge to segregation laws; her action became part of a larger strategy. Ellen Sturtz was just yelling randomly in public at a person with no meaningful political power.

  99. cyberkim says:

    If the protester hadn’t chosen THAT precise moment, when FLOTUS was speaking with obvious emotion regarding issues concerning our children, I’d be on the fence too. As it happens, I think the protester had horrific timing and caught Michelle at a compelling moment in her speech. Bad form for the cause she was fighting for, IMHO. It caught the audience off-guard too, which is why everyone at the event – including the group Ellen was part of – backed away from Ellen and bolstered Obama.

    I honestly think that if you are going to heckle an elected official at these events, do so with the knowledge that most MOST of the audience will find your message odious as it’s delivered. I sympathize with the message Ellen was trying to convey, but I am left with no empathy towards her treatment by Obama. She didn’t deserve respect in return, but in my opinion Obama DID respect her by offering the mic to her in order to take over the event – which is what Ellen seemed bent on doing.

  100. DonewithDems says:

    I think the FLOTUS could have handled this better. Threatening to take all her toys and stomp home in a snit is immature. She could have been classy and acknowledged the protester and say she would pass on her concerns to her husband. Then she could have said something like, “Isn’t America great? We can speak out and have our voices heard!” She would have gotten a standing ovation for that.

  101. DonewithDems says:

    Rosa Parks chose to be impolite by not moving to a seat at the back of the bus. Minds are not changed until someone makes an issue and inconveniences someone else. Peaceful protest does not necessarily mean being quiet and polite.

  102. emjayay says:

    I’m still getting an ad over half of this box.

  103. DonewithDems says:

    I think that if it was a political fundraiser then someone doing a political protest is completely appropriate. Given the president’s lukewarm support of LGBT issues, it’s also completely appropriate. I didn’t vote for him last time. I voted for the Progressive Party candidate Rocky Anderson who has a track record of real support and not just speeches. As far as the Democrats and the Obama administration are concerned, the GAYTM is closed. Pretty speeches and cocktail parties at the White House are a dime-a-dozen for the Obamas. Let’s let them know that real action, something Barry has been reluctant and even afraid to do, is what’s needed. I still think Obama is more homophobe than real supporter. Being married to him, Mrs. Obama needs to be prepared for those who voice their opinion of her husband’s lackluster performance on LGBT issues.

  104. lynchie says:

    when 1 person has a mike it is the only way to be heard otherwise no one hears you.

  105. lynchie says:

    After seeing the video and reading your piece I am appalled at MO’s short fuse. It must be nice to cruise through life now with nary a financial worry or any worry of facing the same issues facing most families and especially what the gay community faces every day. Lots of great people went before O and the missus on equality issues for blacks and her petulant “take my ball and go home” attitude tells me she thinks she is special. Let the down votes begin

  106. S1AMER says:

    Shouting is not always the best way to make yourself heard.

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