First lady Obama confronts gay-rights heckler at DNC fundraiser

Updated
First lady Michelle Obama speaks during a veterans employment event in the East Room April 30, 2013 at the White House. She was heckled on Tuesday night by a...
First lady Michelle Obama speaks during a veterans employment event in the East Room April 30, 2013 at the White House. She was heckled on Tuesday night by a...
Alex Wong/Getty Images

A pro-gay rights audience member shouted at Michelle Obama Tuesday night about an executive order to prohibit sex discrimination as the first lady delivered a speech at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, D.C.

The heckler, identified as Ellen Sturtz, an activist of the pro-gay rights group GetEQUAL, interrupted Obama about 12 minutes into her 20-minute speech to call for an executive order to prohibit discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” Obama said after being heckled.

Then she left the lectern to confront the protester: “Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”

The crowd cheered for the first lady and urged her to finish her speech. The protester was escorted out of the event shouting, “[Inaudible]…lesbian looking for federal equality before I die.”

Before being interrupted, Obama spoke about the importance of remaining engaged in off-presidential election years. Americans cannot wait for the next presidential election to stand up for their children, she said.

“This is what I want you all to understand, this is not about us—no one back here,” Obama said at the event. “It’s not about you or you, or your issue or your thing. This is about our children.”

About 200 people attended the fundraiser at a residence in D.C., where tickets ranged from $500 to $10,000. The first lady joined a roundtable discussion with about 20 people after the event.

First lady Obama confronts gay-rights heckler at DNC fundraiser

Updated