First lady Michelle Obama was heckled
by an activist associated with GetEqual during a DNC event on
Obama was speaking at the private home
of Washington, D.C. lesbian couple Karen Dixon and Nan Schaffer.
Gay weekly the Washington
Blade identified the activist as Ellen Sturtz, 56.
Obama appeared upset by the
interruption and reportedly approached Sturtz.
“One of the things I don't do well is
this,” she told Sturtz. “Listen to me or you can take the mic,
but I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”
The crowd begged Obama to stay and
Sturtz was escorted out.
Sturtz said she relocated to Washington
from California to help secure passage of the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would outlaw workplace
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender
identity. Because ENDA appears stalled in the House, LGBT rights
groups have asked the president to sign an executive order which
would apply to contractors doing business with the federal
government. The president has said he prefers a legislative
“I have been the nice lesbian; I'm
not nice anymore,” she said. “I'm nice, but I don't want to be
quiet any longer. I don't want to listen to the non-profit
organizations telling me what the timeframe is – how many decades
I'm going to have to wait for full federal equality.”
Sturtz said she paid the $500 entrance
fee to attend the event and has previously donated to the Democratic