Gay rights group Get
Equal heckled President Obama Monday as he spoke at a fundraiser
in California for fellow Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer.
“What about 'don't ask, don't tell',”
one protester yelled.
“We are going to do that,” Obama
said, then, raising his hand he added: “Hey, hold on a second. We
are going to do that.”
The protesters continued, chanting “Yes
we can” over the president's remarks.
After waiting about 30 seconds, Obama
said: “Guys, guys, I agree.”
“What the young man was talking about
was we need to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell,' which I agree with.
And which we have begun to do. But let me say this: When you got an
ally like Barbara Boxer and you got an ally like me, who are standing
for the same thing, then you don't know exactly why you got to holler
because we already hear you.”
The protest was staged by GetEqual, the
nascent gay rights group led by lesbian activist Robin McGehee. The
group is calling on activists to apply greater pressure – most
likely including greater civil disobedience – on lawmakers to pass
two major gay rights bills that appear to be stalling out in Congress
and repeal “don't ask, don't tell,” the policy that bans gay
troops from serving openly.
was also behind last month's “don't ask, don't tell” protest at
the White House that got three activists arrested, including
McGehee and Lt. Dan Choi, one of the most visible opponents of the
The president also suggested that the
protesters should be yelling at people who do not agree with repeal
of the law.