Updated 6/5 at 12:05 pm EDT
The first lady apparently has little patience for hecklers.
Under a white tent in the backyard of Karen Dixon and Nan Schaffer in Northwest Washington, DC, tonight, with Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in attendance, first lady Michelle Obama was about 12 minutes into a 20-minute party fundraising speech.
An activist for LGBT rights standing at the front started shouting, calling for an executive order on gay rights.
“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” the first lady replied to applause.
She left the lectern, approached the protester, and said: “Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”
The crowd voted for Obama.
“You need to go,” one woman told the protester, a self-proclaimed “lesbian looking for federal equality before I die.”
Protestor Ellen Sturtz is an advocate for GetEqual, according to Heather Cronk, co-director of the group. She was speaking out for an executive order to bar discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity, Cronk explained.
“So let me make the point that I was making before,” Obama said, carrying on with her talk. “We are here for our kids. So we must recapture that passion. That same urgency and energy that we felt back in 2008, 2012. Understand this — this is what I want you all to understand. This is not about us. No one back here. It’s not about you or you or your issue or your thing. This is about our children.”
(With thanks to Amanda Terkel of Politico for the pool report.)
Today Sturtz and associates issued a statement about the point she was trying to make:
Last night, the Democratic National Committee held a fundraiser that was interrupted by organizers calling for President Obama to take action and leadership to end workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. The four organizers — Ellen Sturtz of Washington, DC; Autumn Leaf of Ohio; Wooten Gough of North Carolina; and Amy Vesper of New Mexico — issued the following statement:
“LGBT people in North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio and all over the country are dehumanized in our jobs, and we are forced into the closet in order to participate in the American dream. We value the First Lady’s leadership and invite her to lead the charge within the Democratic Party to end employment discrimination. President Obama has an executive order sitting on his desk that can protect a quarter of the labor force in the U.S. from workplace discrimination, we will continue engaging leaders in the Administration and the Democratic Party until President Obama fulfills a promise to our community made five years ago.”