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Dan Choi Rips Up 'Obama for America' Pamphlet, Throws it at Volunteer at Netroots Nation Panel: VIDEO


During a panel at Netroots Nation this afternoon called 'What To Do When The President Is Just Not That Into You', activist Lt. Dan Choi ripped up an "Obama for America" pamphlet that a campaign volunteer delivered to the stage as he tried to explain the President's position on marriage equality, Think Progress reports.

Said the volunteer to Choi, and another member of the panel: "I can’t say I’m for marriage equality, but as a bisexual man, I would take a bullet for both of you."

Choi became angry, tore up the flyer, and threw it at the man, saying,  "Did you not understand? Here! I believe that I’m an equal citizen."

Replied the volunteer: "I understand that, but Obama hasn’t gone officially on record for it…"

 Said Choi: "Then, don’t tell me that I’m a bad person, go tell him that he should believe in my full equality and then report back."

Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade also wrote about the incident:

Asked afterward by the Washington Blade whether he felt he was too harsh with the campaign volunteer, Choi replied, “Sometimes love comes in harsh forms. I love my detractors enough to let them know when they are misguided and I only regret that we are both suffering under a second-class citizenship imposed by politicians who smile pleasantly while denying our fight for justice. The harshest treatment would be our acquiescence to the view that we do not deserve equality.”

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. He thinks he's Gandhi.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Jun 16, 2011 8:18:33 PM

  2. dan choi has always seem unbalanced to me.

    Posted by: lito S | Jun 16, 2011 8:19:59 PM

  3. Yay! Someone out there finally as angry as I am.

    Posted by: X | Jun 16, 2011 8:20:14 PM

  4. awesome - than G-d for Dan Choi and others who speak out. Sucks that there are detractors like jeffrob out there :(

    Posted by: me | Jun 16, 2011 8:21:30 PM

  5. Wait, so the guy said he doesn't support marriage equality because Obama hasn't gone on the record for it? What a pathetic way to think about politics.

    Posted by: Xtab | Jun 16, 2011 8:25:31 PM

  6. Apt response. It's about time there was a visible person at the helm of the gay rights movement with some courage. Civil rights are won by demanding not pleading and by protesting not elite fundraisers.

    Posted by: Theo Theroux | Jun 16, 2011 8:27:18 PM

  7. Considering the batch of Republican presidential candidates we're facing, I think the animus towards Obama, while justified because he has yet to endorse full equality, is not worth our energy at this time. Let's fight our real enemies.

    Posted by: SKOC211 | Jun 16, 2011 8:28:08 PM

  8. Umm, me thinks this gal doth protest too much.

    Posted by: vernon | Jun 16, 2011 8:31:40 PM

  9. I'm about as liberal and gay as they come and I find Dan Choi to be somewhat of an embarrassment. I want full equality as much as everyone else but I don't think he is bringing the right attention to the cause, IMHO.

    Posted by: Topher | Jun 16, 2011 8:31:43 PM

  10. Wait, not having been to Netroots I'm not entirely clear, did someone just walk up to a panel discussion and start handing out pamphlets? Weird.

    And yes- thank you SKOC211. Whilst it may give fleeting pleasure not to vote for Obama because of his lack of support, it won't be so funny under President Romney.

    Posted by: Clif3012 | Jun 16, 2011 8:31:50 PM

  11. Seems like Dan Choi was the only one at that conference with a working and independent mind who is not a bought out sycophant.

    Posted by: RC | Jun 16, 2011 8:36:47 PM

  12. Topher: What would be the right kind of attention to the cause?

    Posted by: Skye Winspur | Jun 16, 2011 8:39:57 PM

  13. ROCK ON DAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: Wayne | Jun 16, 2011 8:40:56 PM

  14. I don't see a problem with this. Obama refuses to be anything slightly left of "moderate" and hasn't made good on the promises he made 3 years ago. Frankly, there isn't a more appropriate time than now to be angry... Good on ya D. Choi!

    Posted by: cakeordeath | Jun 16, 2011 8:41:18 PM

  15. With all due respect, Dan Choi may be brave and politically active but I don't find him all that bright. Say what you will about about President Obama but he has been the best president for the gay community in the history of our nation. No other commander in chief has signed so much legislation for the sake of civil rights since LBJ. From ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell to signing The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law to ending the legal defense of DOMA, this president has done more in three years in defense of the gay community than all 43 previous presidents combined.

    And because he hasn't gone far enough to suit Mr. Choi, that gives him the right to act like a child on a panel discussion? I respect Mr. Choi for his service to his nation, and for his activism. But as with any other political discussion, discourse should remain professional and positive. People can have a disagreement with Mr. Choi without him acting like a spoiled brat because he hasn't gotten his way.

    Posted by: Marcus | Jun 16, 2011 8:51:33 PM

  16. Choi is spiraling rapidly out of control once again. He needs to be under medical supervision until his attention-seeking and increasingly hostile episodes are back under control.

    Posted by: MacroT | Jun 16, 2011 8:53:32 PM

  17. I can't believe anyone here would have anything to say against this! Not bringing the right attention?? He thinks he is Gandhi?! Urghh pathetic. He's mad and he should be! People like him should be viewed as a gay icon, not Judy Garland. Not Kylie Minogue. Not any other pop singer.

    I don't understand why African-Americans constantly support important voices within their community and we cannot. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, on and on, African Americans created black iconography and important cultural symbols on their own. And this was possible because people stood behind them. And here you are criticizing Dan Choi while he is arguing for our rights! This is saddening.

    Please think about that.

    Posted by: ronjay | Jun 16, 2011 8:56:44 PM

  18. attention whore. never did like him.

    Posted by: Tony | Jun 16, 2011 9:04:22 PM

  19. Two things we can always depend on from Towleroad commenters: 1) if a picture is posted of someone who's even slightly overweight, there will be cries of "He needs to get his ass to the gym!" to the exclusion of anything that individual actually had to say, and 2) if anyone dares to object to Obama or one of his minions, 50 Democratic Party hacks will jump to emphasize how necessary it is to toe the party line no matter what, because OMG Palin!

    I especially love the dreary commenters like Marcus whose comments have been pre-approved by the flacks at the Human Rights Campaign for maximum groupthink. Obama's done more for gay rights than Chester A. Arthur, you say? I'm convinced!

    Posted by: Matt | Jun 16, 2011 9:06:28 PM

  20. @"Me": Really?

    I'm actually a Dan Choi supporter. But: "The harshest treatment would be our acquiescence to the view that we do not deserve equality"?

    I'm sorry. Thanks for your passion and all, but come off it, sister.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Jun 16, 2011 9:11:33 PM

  21. Dan Choi seems to be quite irrational. It's Obama's fault that there is no same-sex marriage? He needs to check the real culprits that stymie progress, his own party the GOP.

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Jun 16, 2011 9:12:17 PM

  22. Um, I have nothing negative to say about what Dan Choi did. Here you have some bisexual kid coming up and handing pamphlets and saying flatly "I don't support marriage equality." at a known liberal event with known gay and bisexual people on stage and in the crowd. Who did he think he is? And to say he doesn't support it because Obama hasn't come out for it shows me that this kid needs a reality check, especially since he himself is same-sex attracted.

    Sorry, but I fully understand Dan's anger and his frustrations. Sometimes it takes a stand as expressive as this to get the point across that, no, there is no compromising on marriage equality and that the mere thought of being against marriage equality is an insult that will not be tolerated.

    Posted by: Francis | Jun 16, 2011 9:19:20 PM

  23. It's not that I think Dan is a bit off in his methods, I guess it's just that I don't "really" believe Dan is being himself,but rather some character. It's like he's acting or something. It feels like if he pulled that with someone who wasn't a passive type guy who turned it back on him he would cave. And cave badly.

    I dunno. He doesn't strike me as a strong man. He seems like he's all mouth.

    Posted by: Marty | Jun 16, 2011 9:20:39 PM

  24. Bravo! That's how it's done. Dan Choi doesn't suffer sniveling apologists and neither do I.

    Posted by: Josh | Jun 16, 2011 9:21:22 PM

  25. A thought just ran through my mind------was that bi guy a troll? A plant? Obviously, he had a motive to be there, which is handing out Obama flyers. Does he think that he's doing what Obama wants from him by being against marriage equality? That was such a weird situation from the beginning.

    Posted by: Francis | Jun 16, 2011 9:25:40 PM

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