President Obama had a heckler tossed from a White House reception in celebration of LGBT pride month after the woman refused to stop interrupting the president.
“Listen, you’re in my house,” Obama said, to the applause of the crowd, within the first couple of minutes of the event.
The heckler, Jennicet Gutirrez, who is transgender and undocumented, had been shouting claims about bad detention conditions for LGBTQ immigrants in the United States.
“No, no, it’s not respectful when you get invited to somebody’s,” Obama said, again being interrupted by the heckler before he could finish his sentence. “You’re not going to get a good response by interrupting me like this.”
Persisting still to heckle the president, Obama then said “shame on you” and gestured to a security official, asking “can we escort this person out?”
“You can either stay and be quiet or we’ll have to take you out,” Obama then said, apparently giving the heckler one more chance.
Gutirrez, 29, from Los Angeles, who is a founding member of the LGBTQ Latina advocacy group Familia TQLM did not cease and was removed from the East Room.
Gutirrez told ABC News she wanted the president to help the LGBT undocumented immigrants who are currently detained and allegedly facing abuse in detention centers. She expressed her surprise by the president’s reaction to her protesting.
“He had an opportunity to listen to what I had to say and handle it differently, and that’s just so heartbreaking. I’m just so shocked by the lack of leadership and concern he showed to my community,” Gutierrez said. “I have no words to describe the rage I feel, and it’s a sign of how much work we have to do.”
Gutierrez, who attended the event as a guest of a friend who was invited, said she was escorted from the room and released 20 minutes later.
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.