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By talking about all the people he was glad to be there with, who helped him “win the presidency in 2008,” the gays of Get Equal could be forgiven for thinking President Obama was actually talking about them. But no, he was addressing the well-moneyed Democrats, at a fundraiser tonight for California’s Sen. Barbara Boxer, of the hetero variety. Because he couldn’t possibly have meant the gay Americans he’s ignoring, who promptly interrupted his speech to donors at the California Science Center.
Arranged by Robin McGehee and Kip Williams’ Get Equal, a group of activist hecklers (around the 5:15 mark) turned his speech into an impromptu rally for the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. And immediately after the incident, Get Equal had a press release at the ready, identifying (with bios) the six individuals responsible for ambushing Obama. No game playing here. This is all for the press coverage blitz.
The activists interrupted Mr. Obama in the middle of his remarks to high-value Democratic donors during a reception at the California Science Center, with one protester shouting from the audience, “What about ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell?'” Mr. Obama yelled back, “We are going to do that.”
He kept talking, increasing his volume to be heard over the protesters as the crowd took up a chant of “Yes, we can,” to drown them out. Another protester later interrupted the president again, shouting, “It’s time for equality for all Americans.”
Expect this incident to go wide, folks. This is something the good folks at the Human Rights Campaign would never try, for they would lose their seat at Obama’s table. But a group of well-intentioned grassroots activists? Something tells us tonight’s events, following Dan Choi’s White House chaining, are only the beginning.