"Don't Ask" protesters interrupt President's speech

Tue. April 20, 2010 12:00 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

Los Angeles, CA - Gay-rights protesters interrupted President Obama several times Monday night as the President spoke at a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA).

The protesters demanding a repeal of don't ask, don't tell (DADT) were able to bring the speech to a halt and actually got into a dialogue with the President at the event in Los Angeles.

At one point, a protester shouted "Repeal "don't ask, don't tell!"

"We are going to do that," Obama replied. "Hey, hold on a second, hold on a second. We are going to do that... What the young man was talking about was we need to -- we need to repeal `don't ask, don't tell,' which I agree with and which we have begun to do."

The President went on to question the need to shout at Democrats like himself. "Let me say this: When you've got an ally like Barbara Boxer and you've got an ally like me who are standing for the same thing, then you don't know exactly why you've got to holler, because we already hear you, all right?" he said. "I mean, it would have made more sense to holler that at the people who oppose it."

"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," the President told the protesters.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama pledged to repeal DADT and reiterated that promise during January's State of the Union address.

The protesters were from GetEQUAL, an LGBT group that also orchestrated last month's "don't ask, don't tell" protest outside the White House. During that protest, Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. James Pietrangelo were arrested after handcuffing themselves to the White House gate.

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