“I lived and worked in the closet, hiding who I was in order to earn a living. I had planned to speak tonight with DNC officials but, as the First Lady was talking about our childrens’ future and ensuring that they have everything they need to live happy and productive lives, I simply couldn’t stay silent any longer. I’m looking ahead at a generation of young people who could live full, honest, and open lives with the stroke of the President’s pen, and I was hoping that the First Lady would share my concern for all of our young people.” – GetEQUAL activist Ellen Sturtz, who heckled Michelle Obama yesterday at a Washington fundraiser.
GetEQUAL adds via press release:
Also in attendance tonight were three additional GetEQUAL activists, all youth whose job opportunities are limited to the 16 states that currently offer workplace protections for LGBT workers: Wooten Gough, of Yadkinville, NC; Autumn Leaf, of Columbus, OH; and Amy Vesper, of Albuquerque, NM. Autumn Leaf was also able to interact during the fundraiser with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, raising questions about the Democratic Party’s commitment to passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — a piece of legislation recently re-introduced in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate that would offer LGBT workplace protections for all American workers. This legislation has been languishing in Congress for 39 years.
UPDATE: GetEQUAL has issued another press release.
Last night, the Democratic National Committee held a fundraiser that was interrupted by organizers calling for President Obama to take action and leadership to end workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. The four organizers — Ellen Sturtz of Washington, DC; Autumn Leaf of Ohio; Wooten Gough of North Carolina; and Amy Vesper of New Mexico — issued the following statement:
“LGBT people in North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio and all over the country are dehumanized in our jobs, and we are forced into the closet in order to participate in the American dream. We value the First Lady’s leadership and invite her to lead the charge within the Democratic Party to end employment discrimination. President Obama has an executive order sitting on his desk that can protect a quarter of the labor force in the U.S. from workplace discrimination, we will continue engaging leaders in the Administration and the Democratic Party until President Obama fulfills a promise to our community made five years ago.”