A transgender activist heckled President Obama at a gay pride event at the White House Wednesday afternoon, drawing an annoyed reaction from the president.
As the president was speaking at the pride reception in the East Room, a transgender woman interrupted him, shouting, “President Obama, release all LGBTQ immigrants from detention and stop all deportations.”
Mr. Obama responded, “As a general rule I am fine with a few hecklers, but not when I am up in the house.”
The president told the heckler “it’s not respectful when you get invited …”
“You’re not going to get a good response from me by interrupting me like this,” the president said. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. No, no, no, no. No, no. No. Shame on you. You shouldn’t be doing this.”
As the audience booed and chanted Mr. Obama’s name, the president asked staff and security agents, “Can we escort this person out? Come on.”
Then he told the heckler, “You can either stay and be quiet, or we’ll have to take you out. All right, can we have this person removed, please?”
When the woman was removed, Mr. Obama commented to laughter, “OK, where was I? You know, my attitude is if you’re eating the hors d’oeuvres …”
The heckler, identified as Jennicet Gutiérrez, is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who said she could not celebrate while about 75 transgender detainees were still being exposed to “assault and abuse” in custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
“There is no pride in how LGBTQ and transgender immigrants are treated in this country,” she said in a statement released by the group GetEqual. “If the president wants to celebrate with us, he should release the LGBTQ immigrants locked up in detention centers immediately.”