LGBT protesters arrested at Boehner office
June 13th, 2013
07:41 PM ET
10 years ago

LGBT protesters arrested at Boehner office

(CNN) – Police arrested members of an LGBT group on Thursday during a protest outside of House Speaker John Boehner's district office on Capitol Hill.

The activists who were handcuffed and taken into custody are affiliated with GetEQUAL action, the same lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization that disrupted the first lady's DNC event last week.

The LGBT group is demanding federal employment protection for gay, lesbian and transgendered workers and is calling on Boehner to move forward with a vote on related legislation.

"We are somebody! We deserve full equality! Right here! Right now!" the group chanted outside Boehner's office in the Longworth House Office Building.

After several warnings, U.S. Capitol Police arrived with plastic handcuffs and removed the activists. Eight people were arrested, police said.

CNN spoke exclusively to the group as they gathered at a nearby hotel before marching to Capitol Hill.

Preparing for arrest, members of the group received legal counsel and even wrote an attorney's phone number on their skin with a marker before marching.

"We are here today because there are currently no federal workplace protections for LGBT folks in the United States of America, which we believe is wrong. If you live in a state where there are no protections you can literally be fired for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered," said Ohio resident and Iraq War Veteran Sean Watkins.

"The president of the United States of America in 2008 promised us an executive order protecting federal contractors and anybody who does business with the federal government workplace protections for LGBT folks, he hasn't done that and continues to punt to Congress."

President Barack Obama hosted a LGBT Pride Month event on Thursday at the White House.

Filed under: Gay rights • John Boehner
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Maybe these people annoy you, Middle America, but they're right. Imagine being fired only because you're a white male. Or a woman. Or a non-Caucasian ethnicity. Or because you're Catholic. That's against Federal law, innit?

    Why should it be different if you're gay?

    June 13, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. John

    While I agree with these LGBT protesters, I think they should also target Obama the same way. He could issue an executive order accomplishing the same thing without the hassle of dealing with obstructionists in Congress.

    After all, FDR issued executive order 8802 to prevent racial discrimination in the defense industry. Truman and Johnson also issued executive orders to enforce civil rights.

    June 13, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  3. us_1776

    The current crop in the House does not care about the rights of American Citizens.

    It only cares about itself. And their 1%-er cronies.


    June 13, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. tony

    They have a point. Marriage pre-dates Christianity by several thousand years. And probably even the very earliest religious beliefs by a few hundred thousand years.

    June 13, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. Al

    Can't say I like the messengers, but the message needs to be heard.

    June 13, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  6. GOPSux

    Awwww, I'll bet they made the punk cry!

    June 13, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. Narchais

    The president promised a lot of things for his re-election. If you think that's the most important thing he's lied to us about, you haven't been paying attention.

    June 13, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. Ron

    Enough of the gays already. These same people won't accept the lifestyle of Christians yet they call others bigots. I call them hypocrites.

    June 13, 2013 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  9. BO Lies

    So much fuss over a genetic disorder 3% of the population has.

    June 13, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  10. Thomas

    House Speaker John Boehner

    How did he get to be speaker ?

    June 13, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. Malory Archer

    Aaaaaannnnddd the righting echo chamber will create a false equivalence between this incident and the one last week when a protester from the same group interrupted the First Lady's speech during a private event at a private home in 3...2... 1...

    Here's the thing kiddies: one of these things is not like the other. For starters, crybaby's protesters were in the halls of the United States Capitol – a building that belongs to We the People – when they were arrested. Secondly, unlike crybaby, the First Lady didn't have anyone arrested.

    June 13, 2013 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  12. Francisco Decastro

    Why don't the gay have to protest and do these things? Why do gay people not act like straight people? Don't they want equality?

    June 13, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Robert

    The LGBT group is demanding federal employment protection but then demand "full equality".

    So which is it? Full equality, e.g. treated like everyone else or "special protections" e.g. privileged minority status.

    June 13, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  14. St Xavier

    Obama should keep to his promise's he made about the protection for the LGBT people. President Obama has to serve all the people an not pick an chose depending on which way the wind is blowing a promise is a promise. Sad to say our country still have those who will an do deny others there rights as American citizens because they have different life styles. I'm not one of those Americans who has the different life styles, they do not bother me as I live an I do not bother them I say live an let live LET GOD BE THE JUDGE of their conduct.

    June 13, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. Chickadee

    Yeah, you're somebody but nobody special. The rest of us work under state law of "employment at will". That means that, at least in TX, anyonecan fire anyone at any time for any reason...and anyone can quit without notice. What makes you so "special" that you should be treated any differently. We are all under the impression you want to be treated just like us. That is what equality is all about.

    June 13, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  16. al

    I'm 63 y.o., white, male, literate, hard working and as of yet, no one has promised me a damn thing. I think I need a lawyer!

    June 13, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. Mai

    I am confused. Why are they arrested? The right to assembly is in our Bill of Rights...

    June 13, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. John

    Is all the drama really neccesary? Settle down already

    June 13, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. texasnotea

    Yeah, lock them up. That will surely shut them up. If John would listen in the first place, there wouldn't be a problem.

    June 13, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. Dylan

    So much for freedom of speech.

    June 13, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  21. Rudolf Rocker

    As we are all the stewards of each other's liberties, you have my full and unabated support. Tip of the hat to you my brother and sister citizens in the LGBT&Q community. Settle for nothing less than full equality.

    June 13, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  22. DustyOnes

    Obama must not like LGBT....why hassel Boehner?

    June 13, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  23. gorgegirl

    These people are harming their own agenda by their activist behavior.

    June 13, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. Frank

    I thought Republicans were for smaller government and against public sector unions. I guess Boehner forgot that.

    June 13, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. NorCalMojo

    "we are somebody"

    That's too funny. Walking charicatures.

    June 13, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
1 2 3 4