Lesbian Heckles Michelle Obama at DNC Fundraising Speech

First Lady Michelle Obama threatened to leave a Democratic National Committee fundraiser Tuesday after she was confronted by a heckler demanding equal rights for gay people. Gay rights activist Ellen Sturtz stood up and began shouting that President Obama should sign an executive order to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.

After she was contronted directly by the First Lady, the woman — identified as an activist with the group Get Equal - was escorted out of the event by security personnel. Sturtz, 56, reportedly shouted as she was led away that she was a “lesbian looking for federal equality before I die.”

Mrs. Obama had been speaking about the need for Democrats “to get fired up and ready to go” when she was interrupted by the heckler. According to a White House press corps pool report, the First Lady said, “One of the things I don’t do well is this.” She left the lectern and addressed Sturtz directly, saying the gay-rights protester could “listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”

The audience at the DNC event, held at a private home in Washington, began to shout for Mrs. Obama to stay. A woman sitting near Sturtz shouted at the protester: “You need to go!”

After the heckler had been escorted out of the $5,000-a-plate fundraising dinner, the First Lady resumed her speech and drew loud applause from the audience when she said, “This is not about us. … It’s not about you or you or your issue or your thing. This is about our children.”