They demand he repeal 'Don't Ask, Don¹t Tell' this year
Los Angeles, CA Moments ago, several GetEQUAL activists interrupted President Obama during his speech at a fundraising reception for Senator Barbara Boxer in Los Angeles, expressing anger over the slow progress on repealing "Don¹t Ask, Don¹t Tell" this year and demanding that he repeal it.
GetEQUAL activists shouted, "what about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'" and "it's time for equality for all Americans." The President, at one point bringing his remarks to a halt, said, "Barbara and I are supportive of repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'."
Activists David John Fleck, Dan Fotou, Laura Kanter, Zoe Nicholson, and Michelle Wright were then escorted out of the reception by security officers.
"President Obama has been AWOL on DADT," Fotou. "We had to remind him of the promises he made to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community during his campaign and several times during his Presidency - that DADT will be repealed because, as he's stated, 'it's the right thing to do.'"
"We made it clear our community will hold accountable our President for unkept promises," said Wright. "Denying LGBT service members and personnel the ability to serve their country is unfair."
Today's action took place nearly one year after a similar protest outside an Obama appearance in Los Angeles, when Lt. Dan Choi asked the President for a response to a letter signed by 136,000 people to repeal DADT.
"These empowering and brave activists feel so strongly about our rights they were willing to confront the President of the United States on his lack of leadership on DADT and to hold him accountable for the promises he has made to our community," said Kip Williams, co-founder of GetEQUAL.
Those involved in the action
David John Fleck resides in Long Beach, CA. He is a former Grassroots Outreach Organizing Director for the Courage Campaign and Steering Committee member for the National Equality March. He was involved in today¹s action because he believes that this year, this Congress offers the only realistic prospect to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and that the President must take a leadership role in accomplishing what he promised in his State of the Union Address.
Dan Fotou lives in Los Angeles, CA. He took part in today¹s action because he has a dream to have access to the same rights, freedoms, privileges and protections as every other American citizen. He believes federal law must be enacted to protect the LGBTQ community against all forms of discrimination.
Laura Kanter resides in Irvine, CA with her wife. She was one of 18,000 couples able to get married. A good friend of Dan Choi, she is participating in today¹s action because it is wrong to deny Dan Choi and every other LGBT American who is willing to risk their life for this country, the opportunity to serve. Laura will continue to fight out loud as long as LGBT people are denied equal rights and will challenge Democrats and other progressive thinkers who allow this injustice to continue.
Laura McFerrin from Dallas, TX. She organized a protest at First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX after the minister preached a sermon, "Why Gay is Not Okay". Laura is the director of March On, a documentary following the lives of several LGBT families on their journey to the National Equality March in Washington last October. She believes that this direct action will serve as a wake up call to Obama and remind him of his promises
Zoe Nicholson lives in Newport Beach, CA. A feminist and fighter for civil rights, she is the founder of ERA Once and For All, a life long member of NOW, NWPC, Veteran Feminists of America and outspoken voice for LGBTQAI rights. She has been on the front lines of activism since the 1960s.
Michelle Wright resides in Fresno, CA. Through years of participation in sports she understands competition and passion. Both are key components in the life of a military service member and have the ability to weave there way into one's internal framework. To deny LGBT the right to pursue their dreams is unjust and she took part in the action because she stands in solidarity with uniform wearing LGBT members who look forward to serving their country with pride and honor.
You can view photos of the action at http://www.flickr.com/photos/getequal/
You can view videos of the action at http://www.youtube.com/getequal
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