Two Can Play

Lesbian Activist Confronts Michelle Obama, Who Confronts Lesbian Activist

GetEqual likes to pride itself on its confrontational tactics, but it’s been a while since its heyday of blocking traffic in Las Vegas or targeting Nancy Pelosi for being insufficiently supportive, an accusation that probably left Republicans rolling in the aisles. But the group did get some new attention on Tuesday night when a member heckled Michelle Obama at a private fundraiser, only to have Michelle confront her.

Ellen Sturtz, who paid to attend the Democratic fundraiser at a private home in western Washington state, interrupted the First Lady to demand that the President sign an executive order banning workplace discrimination. According to  a press pool report, Michelle “left the lectern and moved over to the protester.” The pool report quoted Obama as saying: “Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”

Pretty easy choice at a Democratic fundraiser. Sturtz said she told Michelle she would take the microphone, but didn’t get the chance and was escorted from the event. Later, she told the Washington Post that the First Lady’s actions surprised her. “She came right down in my face,” Sturtz said. “I was taken aback.”

Rule one in politics: if you dish it, you better be able to take it.

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  • Caleb in SC

    Good for the First Lady! This administration has done more for LGBT rights than any other in history.

  • Snapper59

    Rule Two: if you don’t want someone to take your “mic”, don’t tell them to take your “mic”.

  • niles

    Way to go, freak – harass and upset the president’s wife. That’ll make him sign it, alright. My apologies to the First Lady, this ignorant ugly pig does not represent me or the gay community.

  • MickeyP.

    @niles: I said as much,on another site! The Obama’s have done more for our community than all the GOV’T,combined!

  • tjr101

    If you’re going to confront someone don’t be “taken aback” when they respond in kind. Be prepared to get a taste of your own medicine. This “activist” sounds like a childish, petty fool.

  • jeff4justice

    How dare she disrespect the woman of a man who keeps the country in needless wars, signs NDAA, protects GMO companies, and acts as a continued term as GBW in so many ways.

  • Caleb in SC

    @jeff4justice: Jeff, be fair, Obama didn’t start those wars; he inherited them and has tried to execute an exit strategy. And as for continuing GWB’s policies, the GOP will not allow him to do anything differently. I cannot remember a president who has had to to do so much with so little help from Congress. During the Great Depression, Congress rallied behind FDR, and even voted themselves a pay decrease. Today, the president voluntarily gave back 5% of his salary because of the mandatory pay cuts, but Congress refused to follow suit. Even worse the GOP called it a stunt and cited the 27th Amendment, forgetting that they can voluntarily give money back. It is a shame.

  • Caliban

    Without knowing exactly how it went down it’s hard to say who’s in the right here. It’s not wrong for a gay activist to push Obama to do more. If she was a obnoxious “heckler” that’s something else all together.

    But make no mistake, Michelle Obama is no push-over. She was the bigger earner in that family until shortly before he became President and nothing I’ve read indicates she was a shrinking violet. If this activist thought she was going to cow the First Lady, deserved or not, she was sadly mistaken.

    Yes, Barack Obama is the most gay affirmative President in history. That doesn’t mean there is no room for criticism.

  • Caleb in SC

    @Caliban: I like your take on the issue; however, I am also very Southern — just because you can doesn’t mean you should. There is such a thing a civility, which is sadly lost in today’s society.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    This kind of behavior will not help us. This President is not Ronald Reagan, where Act Up was necessary, in order to make progress. This President is navigating the system in order to attain equality, at a time when doing this is difficult and risky. It’s all about the timing.

  • balehead

    Nice to see activists living up to their “real potential”….

  • stormrage

    Michelle will show her true face eventually. Just because she is pretty, dressed up nicely and smiling, she induces sympathy and likability. She doesn’t care about gays other than for their donations and their friends’ and families’ votes. Calculating and politically motivated. That’s all.

  • Polaro

    Free speech is cool. Freedom to interrupt someone else isn’t so cool. Ask a question to make a point. Heckling is for drunks.

  • Bob LaBlah

    This woman’s actions reminds me of a spoiled, frustrated lesbian I used to work with (or should I say I was incarcerated with for eight hours per day in an office) back in the 1980’s. Everything was everyone else’s fault except hers. Oh, no. Her none smiling, CONSTANT frown on her face personality had NOTHING to do with why no one wanted to be around her. We actually broke out a bottle of champaign the day she was fired. I hate people who feel they must GRANDSTAND to be heard and think that is going to work. It failed miserably and no doubt will result in her being scrutinized by federal agencies as a possible threat to the First Family.
    I too wonder how far she would have gone if given the chance. Washington state, for all its beauty and beautiful people, gay or strait, is also a breeding ground for hate groups. The group The Order (a violent anti-government group that mimicked the scenarios of Tim McVey’s “bible” titled The Turner Diaries) was based in the Oregon-Washington state area, as are numerous others. Don’t think for one minute they do not have disillusioned GAY members amongst them, as do most other hate groups.

  • Spike

    What an embarrassment to the LGBT community. Not exactly a surprise that it was an angry lesbian at the center of this.

  • fredo777

    I love Michelle just a bit more after reading this. She is setting a precedent. ‘I’ll be polite, civil, but don’t think that means you can try me.’

  • PSPoolside

    @Snapper59: She didn’t, she asked the attendees to decide and they did.

  • PSPoolside

    @jeff4justice: If you can’t tell Barak Obama from George Bush you are one sorry political animal. By the way the “woman of a man” bit is a rather paleolithic. Hard to tell you from the right wing keep them in the kitchen crowd. See how it can get turned on you?

  • oilburner

    @stormrage: you hit the nail on the head

  • jeff4justice

    @Caleb in SC: online search j Obama apologist bingo.

    Also, just because Congress did not declare war does not mean drone attacking 8 countries is not war.

  • jeff4justice

    @PSPoolside: as progressive glen food of black agenda report says, Obama is the more effective of evil.

    I understand you’re need to deflect from defending the indefensible however. I would expect nothing less from two party system zombies.

    I suppose the feminist of 2013 has no problem with Obama’s literal war on women which happens to include actual bombs.

  • jeff4justice

    @jeff4justice: correction: Glen Ford. posting a comment using an Android is a pain in the ass

  • Cam

    Just a quick reminder to everybody…..

    HRC was “Incensed” when Get Equal was pushing democrats to move on gay rights a few years ago. Telling them that that was wrong, gays would never get rights if we upset the democrats and we needed to sit back and let them not move on gay rights, because eventually they would do the right thing. The head of HRC even sent out a memo basically demanding gays do nothing until after OBama left office, AND the White House came out and said there would be NO movement on gay rights in the foreseeable future. Barney Frank even called gays childish and demanded that gays lobby Congress as if we were asking for a bad road to be fixed.

    Get Equal did sit in’s in Nancy Pelosi’s office and she forced a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal down the White House’s throat and on the second try it passed.

    Obama COULD wipe out legalized workplace discrimination with the stroke of a pen. You may not like this woman but suddenly that issue is in the news. Just because HRC would like gays to not move ahead so they can keep their jobs, lets not be fooled by their phony outrage here.

  • DarkZephyr

    @stormrage: I may have to agree with you here, as unpopular as it seems. When I read Michelle’s response, I see it devoid if any sympathy for LGBT people and their plight. Sure this woman was rude and rather stupid to interrupt her, but Michelle’s reaction completely lacked compassion and understanding. It was all about how slighted she felt and how offended she was that someone interrupted her. This actually leaves me feeling sort of uneasy. Just because her husband supports the LGBT community in no way means that she does. Many First Ladies and First Lady hopefuls have had starkly contrasting views with their husbands, after all. John McCain’s wife is quite a star in pro-LGBT circles while her husband is a symbol of those who hate us.

  • Spike

    @stormrage: And I’m sure that if Ann Romney was the current First Lady LGBT rights would be the forefront of her husbands agenda. Not at all unrealistic, right? Clueless gay.

  • Modernliving3

    Totally agree. Especially when you hear the exchange, I don’t think the first lady came off sympathetic at all to the woman’s plea for wanting equal rights.
    Civil disobedience is not meant to be polite or make you feel good. And I’m sorry but when you’re asking for donations you are fair game.
    I think Michelle Obama is a wonderful first lady but she got it wrong this time.

  • Modernliving3

    @Cam: Couldn’t have said it better.

  • nature boy

    hard to really judge without being there… we’ve had to demand any rights we’ve received so far…. so I don’t blame the activist for trying to make a direct connection to FLOTUS. The story makes it sound like she was not sympathetic… if true that’s sad. I like Obama and appreciate the things he’s done for us, but at the same time, I think it was all carefully poll tested and the only reason he came out publicly for same sex marriage when he did was a carefully calculated decision by his team that he needed to do that to win re-election. Politics is too much of a science and a big business now to think otherwise. I’m sure there are similar political trade-offs and calculations being made about workplace discrimination and gay immigration issues regarding him achieving other parts of his agenda before his term ends. The sad reality is that he doesn’t need us for re-election any more, so I don’t think we’re going to see any more bold executive action on LGBT rights. I hope I’m wrong of course.

  • Shadeaux

    @jeff4justice: You sure are depressing dude. I wish you would find “happy” somewhere. Get a hobby or something. You complain about EVERYTHING.., ALL THE TIME!

  • mlbumiller

    what ever happen with manners in this country? respecting the office/position if not the person holding it? I think the First Lady, had it right. I thnk Ellen Sturtz could have made the same impact asking a queation at the right time.

  • Cam


    This wasn’t church, this was a fundraiser where the First Lady was asking for money representing the party.

    Where better then to ask what the party is doing in return for that money? If fundraisers have become sacrosanct then the country is already too far down the toilet to be saved.

  • stvrsnbrgr

    @stormrage: Well thank goodness there is someone here who knows the “true face” of Michelle Obama! It’s about time! Stormrage, we are all so eager to hear about the access you’ve had to the First Lady. How you came to be so intimately familiar with her attitudes and motivations. You must have worked very closely with her! No? Then you and the Obamas ran in the same social circles in Chicago! No? Ah, so you have a home in Hawaii just down the beach from the First Family’s vacation house! No, huh? Hmm. That’s too bad. Because now we can all see that your commentary about Mrs Obama is really just a nasty, vile episode of explosive diarrhea. What a stench!

  • mlbumiller

    @Cam: wowowowowowow….. step the fuck back… that isnt what i said at all.

  • DuMaurier

    Gosh, I’m always splitting the difference and here I go again. The disruption was not only rude but pointless, since Mrs. Obama isn’t the president, whose reaction would probably be more husbandly protectiveness than sympathy with the heckler’s point. The other side is, the exective order at issue is a very limited one that would ban workplace discrimination solely for government contractors. Obama doesn’t need Congress to go along, and unlike his quandary over marriage, it isn’t even controversial. He should have signed it on January 21, 2009.

  • nature boy

    @ Spike… who were you calling an angry lesbian? The activist or Michelle Obama?

    On further consideration of my earlier comment, maybe we will see some bold executive actions from Obama at the end of his term… I will hold out hope for that…. I am now having a fantasy of him pardoning Bradley Manning at the 11th hour before he leaves office.

  • BrianZ

    More power to Michelle, I say. I agree 100% that there is a right to confront your leaders, whether they be elected or standing in their stead. However, just because YOU choose to confront does not necessitate any specific reaction from the person being confronted. I applaud Michelle for having the backbone to speak her mind, just as I do Ellen.

  • jwrappaport

    I’m pretty surprised at how many of you are criticizing the heckler, especially considering that she posed a valid question that Michelle did not even attempt to address. Also, especially considering that every free society was built by hecklers and is sustained by them. The woman may have been aggressive, but for good reason: Obama has been lukewarm on gay rights since day one, and has expended no serious political capital for us. Nothing has changed in his second term, and there is no reason to believe that he will do anything but stand by passively while our fates are adjudicated in the courts or spoken of idly in the Congress.

    Gays – it’s okay to criticize Obama. Him throwing a bone to us (even several) does not entitle him to a free pass. He and Michelle are there in part because of our money and support, and as much as I admire her, she handled this childishly and with too heavy a hand. Her husband would not have, I daresay. What made her response inadequate is precisely that she didn’t speak her mind – she simply reacted to criticism with anger and made no attempt to address the substance of the claim.

  • Ronbo

    @jeff4justice: So very, very true. Obama has followed the gay parade and has these GLBT individuals fooled that the rear is the leader.

    It was Biden who forced Obama to support us.

    It was Pelosi who passed DADT over Obama’s objections to “wait until AFTER the election”

  • nature boy

    Having now watched the video, I would say I find Mrs Obama’s response surprisingly graceless and childish. It would have been much easier for her to just say “you know, I hear your concern, but I’m not the person to answer that question, I’m going to finish my remarks now, and I will be sure to pass along your concern to my husband when I get home.”

    The subject of her speech… “making sure our children all have equal rights” or something like that…. was in fact quite relevant to the “heckler’s” demand to know, “if you really believe that, why is your husband not signing this order?” You know, why do we have to wait for our CHILDREN to have equal rights, when your husband could sign his name to an order that would grant a significant number of adults some more equal rights today???

    Queerty’s coverage doesn’t mention that she was at a fundraiser at a lesbian couple’s home… I would assume the crowd was predominantly lesbian…her panicky response tells me she was either having a bad day already or was really not comfortable there, for whatever reason.

  • Cagnazzo82

    How insane could you possibly be to try to heckle the First Lady claiming this admnistration isn’t moving fast enough?


    I was born in the 80s, I grew up in the 90s. NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS did I imagine we’d be where we are today in gay rights. And yet here we are.

    The President signed the Matthew Shepard Act, he fighting against DOMA, he repealed DADT… already more having done more than ANY OTHER PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES ON GAY RIGHTS…. You’re going to claim he’s not moving fast enough?

    Is this woman insane?

    She’s lucky I wasn’t there. I would’ve been FAR LESS Civil.

    Kudos to the first lady. Enough is enough with these selfish ingrates. They’re lucky McCain and Romney aren’t president, and they’re just taking it for granted.

  • jwrappaport

    @Cagnazzo82: See, that’s the whole thing with rights: You don’t have to ask for them nicely, and you don’t have to thank the master of the house for his scraps. They are ours and have been unjustly withheld from us for long enough. I have zero respect for the argument that we should be happy with some rights or equality-lite. The cat is out of the bag, and I refuse to be browbeaten by people who tell us that we should be happy with what we have. I will not be happy (and you shouldn’t be either) until we’re every man’s and woman’s equal in this country.

    Also, check your premises. Obama didn’t repeal DADT – it happened under his nose, and he passively allowed it to happen. Show me one gay rights issue where Obama has put real political capital on the line. Spoiler alert: there ain’t one because he’s a very cautious and calculated man with very little real courage.

    How insane do you have to be to think that anything but full equality is morally acceptable?

  • jwrappaport

    @Cagnazzo82: Also, fighting against DOMA is a serious exaggeration, especially considering that he defended it for years in his first term. He filed the amicus brief and is changing his tune because it’s politically expedient.

  • Greg Garavani

    I’m not surprised with many of the responses that this has gotten, regardless if the lady who interrupted may have been a bit belligerent when interrupting the First Lady. But how dare some of you try and ridicule your own community, I’m HAPPY she interrupted her speech, most of you may have it easy in some states where LGBT rights come easy, but continuing to act ignorant for the rest of our group is unacceptable. The First Lady showed no compassion towards the individual and even then the crowd CHEERED as she was being escorted out, imagine yourself in her shoes, trying to take a stance that not many of us were willing to do to try and pressure the promises that were made by this administration. And for all you queens out there who are falling to your knees this quick for the First Lady/President, this isn’t a Grindr hookup, these are OUR RIGHTS AND FREEDOM were fighting for!

  • Cagnazzo82


    Obama didn’t repeal DADT? It happened under his nose? Are you joking right now?

    It was part of a lameduck bargain (along with extending unemployment benefits) at the end of the Democrat’s supermajority. It was negotiated to be part of that deal.

    You seriously think DADT would’ve been repealed under McCain? Are you that deluded? Even if it passed under McCain he’d have vetoed it and that would’ve been the end of that.

    Again, you are one of the ingrates that apparently are to blind to appreciate just how far things have come so fast.

    People like you need some perspective.

    Furthermore, Obama advised the justice department NOT to enforce DOMA his first year in office. So not only are you an ingrate, but you’re a liar as well.

    A troll on top of that I’m suspecting.

  • Cagnazzo82

    @Cagnazzo82: Her stance is the equivalent of you pushing your friend and attacking him for not driving fast enough.

    It’s crazy and it’s unproductive.

    Her gesture means absolutely nothing. Even an entire crowd of lesbians were against her.

  • bma83

    Way to go Michelle!!! I love you even more now.

    First, how ignorant and stupid is it to heckle and attack those who are on our side. Word to the wise, the more you heckle, disrespect, and attack those who are for us, the more they will decide to not be for us.

    Second, what power does Michelle Obama have when it comes to passing ENDA or any other law? None, so why interrupt her speech? A very important speech at that. If you want to heckle someone, TAKE IT TO THE REPUBS!!!!!!!!!!

    Personally, I wouldn’t have shown any compassion to that woman either. I would have done the same exact thing. “If you want to talk, here, take the microphone. I’m out. Ain’t nobody got time for that!!”

    I really really really wish I could kick every last one of my ungrateful gay brethren who are so disgusted with Obama and who love to criticize him into a parallel universe where McCain and/or Romeny are president. I wonder how much they would love that. The ungrateful bas…

  • jeff4justice

    @Shadeaux: Aw, I am not good enough for you : (
    Exactly how many fucks am I suppose to give about that?
    Don’t read what I post if you don’t like it.

  • JakeAndrew

    I see people saying that the First Lady should have been sympathetic to what the HECKLER was saying. Perhaps you would, but I would never be more compassionate towards anyone who doesn’t show me the same. Perhaps if the heckler had a different approach and approach the First Lady after she spoke and talked about a very serious issue, she would have been more receptive and compassionate. Did the heckler expected to be treated with respect when she rudely interrupted Michelle? You got be kidding me. I would have reacted the same regardless of whether the heckler was a friend or foe. And another thing, if you want to heckle someone regarding ENDA, go and heckle people who are in charge of making policies.

  • Cagnazzo82

    @JakeAndrew: It’s easier for some of these people to yell and shout at people on their side than to actually go and confront the congressmen and women refusing to act on these issues.

    Then you can go home pretending as if you’ve accomplished something.

  • Shadeaux

    @jeff4justice: LMAO. You simple bitch. “NO” you’re not good enough for me. Why ask a question you know the answer to. Apparently you’re not good enough for anyone else either which is why your lonely ass is on here ALL THE TIME. Trust me, I don’t want to read what you post BUT YOU POST ON EVERY GOT DAMN THING ON HERE! OH and BTW, you give about as many FUCKS as it took your pathetic ass to respond to what I wrote. If you didn’t, you would have kept pushing.

  • hamoboy

    Wow, I really do think the quality of these comments increased after the comments policy was changed to require a login. All we need is some way of upvoting/downvoting comments and we’ll be good to go I think.
    None of this (relatively civil) discourse would have happened last year. One of the first few comments would have called Mrs Obama a racial or gendered slur, a few comments down someone pretending to be a straight muslim would start talking about how proud they were of Michelle, and somehow Beyonce would be at fault by the 50th comment.

  • stormrage

    We have some rights because of those “angry ones” who stood up to politicians and heckled and protested and resisted for decades. All the gay boys posting here with love for the pretty first lady should take their head between their hands and use that organ inbetween. Michelle Obama did not come out for equality soon or strong, except stand by her husband and agree with whatever comes out of his mouth. Just because she is a strong, pretty democratic party woman, I see several people, gay or straight, seeing her as someone that she is not. Michelle is no human rights or equality champion, she has not done anything to earn that kind of title and respect.

    Thank you the activist who heckled ignorant Michelle.

  • hamoboy

    @stormrage: So, Michelle Obama is ignorant because she didn’t drop everything she was doing and listen to the person who angrily interrupted her speech at it’s emotional climax? Emotions aside, I would be very offended if someone came for me at the most important moment in my speech. I would certainly say a lot more than “If you want to talk, here’s the mic.”.
    The heckler was probably right about what she was protesting about, but, she was the one to start a confrontation with Michelle. She complains to the press that she was “taken aback” by Mrs Obama’s reaction, which I find hypocritical because the whole point of her heckling was to make the FLOTUS “taken aback”. Like the last line of the article says, if you can’t dish it, don’t serve it.
    Next time she should prepare herself better before heckling a Harvard trained lawyer, it might make it less embarrassing for herself. Also, maybe she should heckle Mr Obama, or her representatives in Congress and the Senate, since they’re the ones that actually have the power to address the issues she is concerned about.

  • Kenny1948

    @hamoboy: If she wants to heckle someone, why didn’t she do this at a tee party event? No excuses for dumb dykes!

  • Kenny1948

    @stormrage: We gained our rights by protesting when it was appropriate. This was not an appropriate time! Just being a big mouth, does not get you heard. This dumb woman is an embarassment to all gay people!

  • jeff4justice

    @hamoboy: Great! We’re even then since I feel the same way about you.

    But, if I am lonely because I am on here all the time and you’re constantly replying to my comments then… we’ll, surely by now you see how your comment makes you look like an idiot.

    I’m humbled someone as awesome as you has so much time to devote to replying to my comments.

  • jeff4justice

    @Shadeaux: Correction, the comment was meant for Shadeaux, not hamoboy

    Great! We’re even then since I feel the same way about you.

    But, if I am lonely because I am on here all the time and you’re constantly replying to my comments then… we’ll, surely by now you see how your comment makes you look like an idiot.

    I’m humbled someone as awesome as you has so much time to devote to replying to my comments.

    Full story here:

  • hamoboy

    @jeff4justice: wat. I haven’t replied to anything you’ve written this entire thread. :/

  • Shadeaux

    @jeff4justice: I’m constantly replying to your comments? OooKay. ANYWAY, I don’t understand why you’re mad. If the majority says “YES” you say “NO”. If everyone says, “NO” you say “YES” then go off on them for giving their opinion. You make every effort to not just be the asshole but the WHOLE ASS. Why not own it? I’ll be the “idiot” to you, but you are a fucking a loser and you’re mad because it’s true.

    NOW.., about those “fucks” you don’t give. Should we measure those by the post, word, letter, or keystrokes? Judging by how you’re seeing “RED” and responded to the wrong person, I’m sure you hit backspace a lot, so keystrokes won’t work in your favor for that argument.

    I just wanted to call you out on your shit. Moral of the story is, if you can’t take it, DON’T DISH IT!

  • jeff4justice

    @hamoboy: In the comment above yours I posted “Correction, the comment was meant for Shadeaux, not hamoboy”

Comments are closed.