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White House scrubs Michelle Obama’s confrontation with LGBT protester

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Washington Times reported on Tuesday that first Lady Michelle Obama confronted a gay rights protester after she was interrupted about ten minutes into her speech at a campaign fundraiser in D.C.

But important elements of the exchange have been left out of the official White House transcript.

According to pool reports, the activist — standing at the front of the event at the residence of Karen Dixon and Nan Schaffer — began shouting for an executive order on gay rights.

"One of the things I don't do well is this," the first lady said, leaving the lectern and moving toward the protester, "listen to me or you can take the mic, but I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice."

The protester, revealed later as Ellen Sturtz, was then escorted out, shouting "...lesbian looking for federal equality before I die," according to pool reports.

But according to the White House, the first lady never threatened to leave. The official transcript reads:

MRS. OBAMA: So here's the thing — we cannot wait for the next presidential election to get fired up and ready to go. We cannot wait. Right now, today, we have an obligation to stand up for those kids. And I don't care what you believe in, we don't –AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)

MRS. OBAMA: Wait, wait, wait. One of the things –

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)

MRS. OBAMA: One of the things that I don't do well is this. (Applause.) Do you understand? (Applause.) One of the things — now –

(Inaudible audience interruption.)

MRS. OBAMA: So let me make the point that I was making before: We are here for our kids. (Applause.) So we must recapture that passion, that same urgency and energy that we felt back in 2008 and 2012. Understand this. This is what I want you all to understand, this is not about us — no one back here. It's not about you or you, or your issue or your thing. This is about our children. (Applause.)

Ms. Sturtz does activist work for the pro-LGBT rights group Get EQUAL.

"She came right down in my face," Sturtz said about Mrs. Obama. "I was taken aback."

Sturtz said she told the first lady she was happy to take the microphone, which, Sturtz told The Washington Post, appeared to fluster the first lady.

"I said I want your husband to sign the executive order," Ms. Sturtz said. "Her husband could sign this order tonight and protect 22 percent of the work force in this country."

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