Obama to gay-rights protesters who disrupted his speech: 'I don't know why you're hollering'

Posted on 19 Apr 2010 at 9:44pm

Gay-rights activists demanding a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” twice interrupted President Barack Obama’s speech at a Los Angeles fundraiser for Democratic California Sen. Barbara Boxer on Monday night. The activists were from GetEQUAL, the same group that staged sit-ins at offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a month ago.

Shortly after Obama took the stage Monday, the activists began chanting things like, “What about ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’?” Obama halted his speech before saying, “I agree, I agree, I agree. What the young man was talking about was, we need to repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ which I agree with, and which we have begun to do, but let me say this: When you”ve got an ally like Barbara Boxer, and you’ve got an ally like me who are fighting for the same thing, then I don’t know exactly why you’ve got to holler, because we already hear you. It would make more sense to holler that at the people who oppose it.”

A few minutes later, when the activists began chanting again, Obama said: “I’m sorry, do you want to come up here? 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.”

Obama then walked over to Boxer before returning to the podium. “I just wanted to confirm,” he said. “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.’”

Watch video of the disruption by going here.

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