Photos: 13 Chicago Gay Rights Activists Arrested in ENDA Sit-In


Thirteen gay activists in Chicago have been arrested, cited, and released following a flashmob and sit-in protest at Senator Dick Durbin's office over his lack of response to a pledge to support a transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

The group reports:

"The activists arrived in Senator Durbin’s office at noon during a protest in support of ENDA that was taking place in front of the Federal Building. With Pledge in hand they arrived and stated they would not leave until the Senator signed the pledge. The Senator was not in the Chicago office and when the group asked to speak to the Senator via phone, they were told 'that is not possible.' They refused to leave until the pledge was signed. The staffer then called the Federal authorities to have them removed from the office. 

'I am here because we can no longer sit around and wait for our rights to be handed to us by politicians, we must demand our rights from them,' said Lindsey Dietzler of LGBT Change and one of those arrested. 'We have to be here to fight for those who are forced to remain invisible and deny who they are just to make a living. I want Senator Durbin to know that until there is full federal equality for every queer citizen, no one in this country is free.' 

The activists arrested are: Andrea Crain, Kevin Connaghan, Lindsey Dietzler, Roger Fraser, Judy Heithmar, Brent Holman-Gomez, Nik Maciejewski, Rachael McIntosh, Corrine Mina, Michael Oboza, Samantha Pajor, Sherry Wolf, Danelle Wylder."

Below, a photo via Twitter, of the activists in Durbin's office. Above, after the arrest. The group also launched a petition urging Durbin to become an advocate for a trans-inclusive ENDA.



  1. adamblast says

    Where can you get those “2nd class citizen” tees? I’ve needed one ever since Prop 8 passed.

  2. TANK says

    Thank god for unfortunate looking homosexuals who obviously aren’t busy having great sex and fun! We’d have no activist or political community without them.

    Dick Durbin’s another useful idiot. The sooner we get DINOs like him out of office, the better.

  3. AndrewW says

    Earlier today “about a dozen protesters” showed up in DC for a “Demand ENDA Now Rally.” They brought the “ENDA Dancers” that performed a number based on the Village People favorite Y-M-C-A, but changed the letters and lyrics to reflect their anger and frustration. Cute.

    Silly, embarrassing stunts.

    GetATTENTION is almost out of money. This lunacy will stop soon.

    I get the sense that eventually they’ll just kidnap the President’s daughters and hold them hostage. “Demanding” MAY work with some hostages. (White House beefing up Security now).

  4. says

    So proud of these activists. It astounds me when democrats display such outright hatred and bigotry. Sometimes even worse when members of our own community (AndrewW, Barney Frank) speak out against people who are actually willing to put their necks on the line for our rights. Would like to find out what AndrewW is doing outside of writing checks to HRC to secure our equality.

  5. AndrewW says

    Nobody is supporting these mis-fits that just want some publicity. These childish stunts don’t accomplish anything.

    Demanding is not a strategy.

    Thankfully, the media has ignored this latest round of I-wanna-be-an-Activist publicity stunts.

    We don’t need attention, we need results.

  6. says

    Andrew, if by “Nobody,” you mean NBC, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News, Glen Beck, Rachel Maddow and Bill O’Reilly, then yes…you’re right…”Nobody”is supporting these misfits with publicity.

    Do you really think quietly and politely asking for our rights is going to work? We’ve been doing that for quite some time now…How’s your equality goin?

  7. TANK says

    andreww’s a gay uncle ruckus…a faggot. Ignore faggots. They’re obnoxious.

  8. KFLO says

    Andreww, stop being a stubborn old bitch until you get off your ass and make a difference. What are you doing besides sitting back and critiquing?

  9. says

    Why I ‘fired’ Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and the Democratic Party today:

    (from the pink slip handed to Durbin’s office)
    “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans people and our allies hereby discharge and fire Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin and the Democratic Party. Your actions and inaction constantly fire, discharge, separate, deport, impoverish, and diminish LGBTs. In turn, we fire you.

    Pass ENDA, Repeal DOMA, Pass UAFA, Repeal DADT”

    Our community needs to stand up and tell the truth, that we are being attacked by our government! They should be ashamed. It is domestic terrorism to not allow us to sponsor our lovers for immigration, to fire us from jobs in the military, to allow employers to reject us and fire us, to deny us medical coverage of our partners, to endanger ourselves and our relationships. As we chanted before arrest, “Shame, shame, shame, shame…” The status quo destabilizes our lives and must be stopped.

  10. Lauren says

    I am in awe of these activists who are brave enough to take risks to bring attention to the whole country that lgbt Americans are Second Class Citizens in the USA.

    If you take the time to study up on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s you quickly learn that Non-Violent Civil Disobedience (Direct Action) had a huge effect in this country and moved the Civil Rights Movement forward tremendously. It works. In fact, it all works together to move us forward: legislative advances, court decisions that rule in our favor, more people coming out, accurate and positive portrayals of gays & lesbians in film & tv…..public opinion in gradually moving in our favor. But slowly.

    If you do nothing, we may receive full equality in this country in, what …. 30 – 40 years? Ya wanna wait that long? Or would you rather do things that move our movement forward — so that you see full Equality in your lifetime?

  11. Rich says

    Non-violent civil disobedience is one answer. Actively participating in local elections and local meetings is one answer.

    Lobbying Congress from the dais at gazillionaire fundraisers doesn’t seem to be working.

    Supporting ineffective “advocacy” groups doesn’t work, either.

    And, certainly, andreww, bitching about it on a blog gets nothing done.

    Show us a better way or get the hell out of the way.

  12. Jason_Activist says

    These people are HEROES. They risked their lives for our equal rights. This action has clearly intimidated Sen. Durbin and probably every other US Senator.

    Dan Choi started this new Movement by being chained to the White House fence and risking his life and potential police brutality. Now, millions are rising up and taking to the streets to DEMAND our rights.

    We must be LOUDER, MEANER and BOLDER. THEN, they will take us seriously. They have been mis-promising us and mis-treating us for to long. They won’t be mis-taking much longer.


    Finally, I can see how we will reach the premised land.