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Watch: GetEQUAL Protesters Heckle Obama, Demand Equality for All Americans at California Fundraiser


As planned, GetEQUAL protesters got Obama's attention at a fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer last night in Los Angeles, heckling the President over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and demanding equality for all Americans.

Here's the official transcript:

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!”

THE PRESIDENT: We are going to do that. Hey, hold on a second, hold on a second. We are going to do that.

AUDIENCE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

THE PRESIDENT: Here we go. All right -- guys, guys, all right. I agree, I agree, I agree. (Applause.) Now --


THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no, no, listen. What the young man was talking about was we need to -- we need to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don't Tell,” which I agree with and which we have begun to do. (Applause.) But let me say this: When you’ve got an ally like Barbara Boxer and you’ve got an ally like me who are standing for the same thing, then you don't know exactly why you’ve got to holler, because we already hear you, all right? (Applause.) I mean, it would have made more sense to holler that at the people who oppose it. (Applause.)


AUDIENCE MEMBER: It’s time for equality for all Americans!

THE PRESIDENT: I’m sorry, do you want to come up here? (Applause.) You know, the -- all right, because can I just say, once again, Barbara and I are supportive of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” so I don't know why you’re hollering.

Now, the problems that we have here put a further strain on folks in this state, forcing painful choices about where to spend and where to save. And the challenges folks have been facing here --


AUDIENCE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

THE PRESIDENT: Barbara -- I just -- everybody, I just wanted to confirm -- I just wanted to confirm -- I just checked with Barbara, so if anybody else is thinking about starting a chant, Barbara didn’t even vote for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the first place, so you know she’s going to be in favor of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” (Applause.)

Two clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

Shorter clip on the left. The clip on the right contains more of the extended protest.

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  1. These people look no better than the "Teabaggers."

    Posted by: Chance | Apr 20, 2010 7:33:54 AM

  2. You’re getting heckled, sir, because saying you’re for repealing DADT and actually doing something about repealing DADT are two entirely different things. We want action, not more promises.

    Posted by: ichabod | Apr 20, 2010 7:37:13 AM

  3. That's right, piss him off and see how fast he moves now. Idiots.

    Posted by: JNJ | Apr 20, 2010 7:41:34 AM

  4. Well done. This is what happens when you shit on your supporters. I'm going to donate to GetEqual.

    Posted by: rduke | Apr 20, 2010 7:43:50 AM

  5. Those hecklers are idiots. They stoop to the level of teabagger rednecks. I'm embarrassed by them & angry that their actions are counterproductive and surely a setback to the cause. Throwing a tantrum alienates our friends and hands ammunition to our enemies.

    The GOP already has the upper hand by conventional wisdom in 2010 & if they take back the White House in 2012, we'll really have something to scream about.

    Get real!

    Posted by: JONNY NYNY2FLFL | Apr 20, 2010 8:01:17 AM

  6. You PC queens slay me. "Don't piss him off".

    PLEASE if you aren't pissed off yourself then you deserve to be a second class citizen.

    We've behaved and asked "nicely" for many years and keep getting shat upon.

    Yoiu guys are like the gaybequivolents of "Uncle Tom's" and I am embaressed and disgusted by you

    Grow some balls and fight for your rights!

    As for GetEQUAL. Donation coming your way! Keep up the GREAT WORK!

    Posted by: Wolf | Apr 20, 2010 8:06:44 AM

  7. Wow, Obama just made them, and by their actions us, look so foolish. Thanks, GetEqual.

    Posted by: Michael | Apr 20, 2010 8:07:21 AM

  8. This is a democracy. People who are being discriminated against, people who are treated as second class citizens in their own nation, can and should make their protest known.

    I think Obama needs to be made aware of the level of anger LGBT's feel about his foot dragging. This will do no harm at all.

    In Europe political leaders are used to the rough and tumble of public protest. They don't have so-called allies scolding them for daring to make their sentiments known to the fearless leader.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Apr 20, 2010 8:13:41 AM

  9. people are just fed up with empty promises, absolutely no action on obama's part. i am with getEqual. time to act is now, not later.

    Posted by: Suhe | Apr 20, 2010 8:15:34 AM

  10. Obama has already shown us that you can yell at him in an address to Congress and he'll continue to kowtow to your contingency even if you never vote for any of his policies.

    Seriously, the appropriate reaction to outrageous behavior is rage. All you PC people can have a good time at the next HRC dinner.

    Posted by: Parkers_Back | Apr 20, 2010 8:19:46 AM

  11. I concur with those concerned about GETEQUAL. Obama was going to call tomorrow to lobby teh Senate to repeal DADT, demand they pass ENDA, and start holding meetings with wavering senators. But now? HE IS ANGRY.

    Posted by: faeelin | Apr 20, 2010 8:24:39 AM

  12. Michael, we are foolish. We are foolish because we continue to sit by content with empty promises.

    Posted by: Donald | Apr 20, 2010 8:29:54 AM

  13. Frankly I see no reason for us to demand participation in immoral wars.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 20, 2010 8:33:43 AM

  14. GETEQUAL has proven themselves now as the gay tea party. This is very embarrassing to me and many others. To protest a fundraiser for Barbara Boxer (who has been a life-long advocate) when she is going to have the toughest race of her life is nothing short of idiotic. If you want to protest a republican fundraiser, fine, go ahead.

    GETEQUAL, shame on you. You have done nothing to help the cause, quite the opposite.

    Posted by: JR | Apr 20, 2010 8:46:20 AM

  15. @Faeelin

    Where did you hear this information?

    If one group of hecklers can prevent Obama from moving forward on all these promises, then he is a fair weather ally, indeed. It would seem the man lives in an HRC-created bubble, he needs to know the real, justified fury that much of the LGBT community and our allies feel over his lethargy to make good on his campaign promises.

    Posted by: ichabod | Apr 20, 2010 8:50:30 AM

  16. To JR, Chance, Johnny, etc- This is not about Barbara Boxer per se and it is not about making Obama happy or appearing respectful. This is about equal rights and making sure Obama knows we will not just smile and be good little gays. You all are part of the resaon it has taken this long to get anything done. He has made us promises and done nothing to keep them except repeat them every six months or so. So, to compare these brave people to Tea Party people is just ignorant. They are on our side fighting for our rights. Rights that you do not want to badly I guess. Go GetEqual!!!! Heckle him some more. He cannot forget what we want and when we want it. Because if we keep waiting, do you think we will get them after this year's election when the Democrats lose big time?

    Posted by: Rann | Apr 20, 2010 8:55:11 AM

  17. Some of the responses really are ridiculous. Protesting for equal rights is a noble cause. Obama acts like a teacher holding his hand up for quiet. America has completely lost the idea that presidents can and should be criticized when they are not doing what they promised. I totally agree with you Wolf some people here need to grow some fucking balls.

    Posted by: JakeLondon | Apr 20, 2010 8:55:38 AM

  18. The hecklers don't look foolish -- Obama looks foolish for being incapable of understanding the difference between "agreement" and "action." No one cares whether Obama or Barbara Boxer personally believes that DADT should be repealed; we want ACTUAL repeal.

    How are we ever going to get anywhere if all we can do is tiptoe around the people in power, while they smile to our faces and then turn around and continue to support the same old discriminatory policies? What reason do they have to do anything for us if we don't put pressure on them? Wolf said it better above, grow some balls and fight for your rights.

    Posted by: Emily | Apr 20, 2010 9:05:19 AM

  19. Sure, great, Obama talks about wanting to repeal DADT. And what's the result? Confusion, a promise to study it to death, and maybe, MAYBE some action on it after the mid-term elections. Oh, and let's not forget the DOJ brief with outdated arguments and a refusal to acknowledge that many of the folks quoted in the brief have changed their positions.

    Posted by: DR | Apr 20, 2010 9:10:18 AM

  20. I see the Democratic and HRC shills have come out in force in the comments here. Maybe you get an extra cocktail at the next GLBT event the president has. This president promised to be a fierce advocate for our community and has done little but made pretty speeches. Then when the pressure gets intense he throws little crumbs at us. It's time to hold his feet to the fire. Bravo GetEqual.

    Posted by: Tim W | Apr 20, 2010 9:10:45 AM

  21. Ah, the ObamaRahmbot Cockroaches are on High Alert early this morning, their six little legs high over their heads for Massa yet again.

    Well, he smartly kept pivoting back to Good Guy, but we briefly saw the real man behind the curtain last night as our "fierce NOT advocate" let slip his fierce RAGE. Just look at his eyes in this photo:

    They say, "How DARE you interrupt ME? How DARE you question ME? You're NOTHING!" with the same arrogance of power repeatedly exhibited by Bush/Cheney/Rove.

    OF COURSE, he's not their IMmoral equivalent but his emotional reactions betray his true indifference to us just like his betraying his repeated promises to personally fight to end DADT the moment he took office does.

    He could have legally stopped discharges 15 months ago. He could have ordered hospital visitation 15 months ago. He could have ordered his DOJ to find some other way to defend DOMA and DADT in court other than using the same loathsome homophobic justifications used to pass them in the first place.

    "I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. JOIN WITH ME AND I WILL PROVIDE THAT LEADERSHIP!” – Barack Obama job application, February 28, 2008.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Apr 20, 2010 9:18:44 AM

  22. It would have been really smart if he'd turned it around and made note of how long it's been since anyone heard such a thing as a President being heckled, since SOMEONE made sure that didn't happen for many years. THAT'S how much progress has been made. Be glad we have THAT, celebrate THAT, heckle away folks.

    Unfortunately no, he engaged them with rhetoric, and still don't have a repeal of DADT, no ENDA, no marriage.

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 20, 2010 9:37:01 AM

  23. Excuse me, but I seem to remember that when someone read a letter from President Clinton at the 1993 March, that the letter reader (and President Clinton, by proxy) was soundly booed.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Apr 20, 2010 9:55:29 AM

  24. Yes, disagreement makes people "robots" or "PC" fuck that.

    In this political environment, GetEqual's act was PR at best.

    Posted by: Synnerman | Apr 20, 2010 10:05:06 AM

  25. You don't sh*t where you eat, GETEQUAL. This is redic. You DON'T protest at a DEMOCRATIC fundraiser, you idiots. Barbara Boxer is going to lose her election and let's see how much support you get with a republican senate.

    Also, I know it's hard to think about, but we are NOT the only cause that matters! This is political whether you like it or not and GETEQUAL is BAD politics. Thanks for nothing.

    Posted by: Holden | Apr 20, 2010 10:16:16 AM

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