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. RayJacksonMS

    They are heroes. I'm sure he cried in despair at their courage. Or just because it was his time of the month again and he needed a good cry. Hard to tell what will set that one off when everything seems to.

    June 13, 2013 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  2. bear

    Meanwhile in real news:

    The FBI Director testified in congress today on the IRS scandal. He was unable to name the FBI's lead investigator on this case. He did not know what steps the inspector general took or if they were appropriate. etc.

    Does anybody in the executive branch ever prepare for one of these hearings? How can anybody go in front of congress on an issue that has been in the news for a month and not have these answers?

    If this story had broken yesterday and it was a pop question from the news media, it is understandable. But weeks after it has broken and during testimony to congress when you have days to prepare? The guy should be fired for just being incompetent. .

    It appears we have nothing but Sergeant Schultz's in our government.

    June 14, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  3. Anonymous

    It is diffiicult to understand the conversation surrounding this issue. As purposed would our new neighbors pay taxes with or without the right to vote? Will they be paid minimum wage? It's sad to thiink their best option is to become a tax paying slave of sorts. Is it also true they can not seek governmnt assistance? Will they even be eligible for food vouchers or school lunches? What about health care? Will they be included in the Affordable Care Act? Would we even allow them in from Mexico if they were fleeing violence the way Turkey and Jrdan have done for their neighbors?

    June 14, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  4. Tom

    So much for First Amendment rights. I guess only the Second Amendment means anything to Boehner and his type. Lord knows that in the post 9-11 world, republicans have pretty much trashed the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Amendments (and their trying reeeeeeaaaaaly hard to scrap the 14th and 15th)

    June 14, 2013 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  5. stunned

    LBGT resorting to bullying tactics? wow

    June 14, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  6. herman

    When was the last time a tea party member was arrested for protesting...............................ah never. Who really are the kooks and subversives?

    June 14, 2013 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  7. 66Biker

    Oh, come on now... You people didn't really believe all that talk about hope and change, did you? That was just political BS to get votes.

    June 14, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  8. Mr. Me

    Living in Ohio and being fired for being gay legally is what happened to me, so this story hit close to home. I know of other's who have suffered the same fate and it's grossly unjust. Yes I'd love to just up and move out of the State of Ohio but I can not afford to do so. I've also been with my man for 10 years and have battled so many stupid laws to try and get the same simple rights most Americans have today. I'm growing so tired of this. I'm not asking for Special Rights, I'm asking for Equal Rights.

    June 14, 2013 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  9. Annah

    As an LGBT person myself, I just have to shake my head and do an occasional facepalm at those in GetEQUAL. They say the Administration isn't doing anything for LGBT rights.

    They are delusional.

    They protested the same day President Obama hosted an LGBT Pride month event at the White House. The irony is so thick you cannot even cut it.

    As an LGBT person, I am in my final semester of Seminary. How many LGBT people 10 years ago can honestly say they were about to graduate and work in the ministry? Not many. How many gays and lesbians 5 years ago could honestly say they were gay or lesbian in the US Army and still serve? Not many. How many LGBT legal weddings happened 10 years ago? Not many.

    People will just whine and complain just because they have nothing better to do.

    June 14, 2013 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  10. conformist

    Discrimination on the Corporate level is big in Corporate America, I don't blame them trying to protect themselves at the Federal Level

    June 14, 2013 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  11. Marie MD

    At least they had the right group this time. The rethugs are the ones who cling to their guns and bibles and hate everyone not "them".
    The repugs are the ones preventing the President and the US from moving forward. Keep at it at the Capitol., That is where the tea trolls are.

    June 14, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  12. downwithnazis

    Were these dangerous people armed? Did their first amendment right to peaceful assembly come into question?

    June 14, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  13. maximusvad

    The epitome of the evil politician..."Smithers....Release the hounds"

    June 14, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |

    More PC to complain to republicans than their own president I guess

    June 14, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  15. Craig in Pa.

    There should be a lot more people invading Boehners office complaining about his job performance in general...let them know how we really feel about the bunch of do nothings in Congress. They make way too much money for the job they do not do...Flush the toilet next election...get rid of the "takers"....(the REAL takers)...Wish I could screw off at work without the fear of getting fired.......never happens in the real world...

    June 14, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  16. Paul Cooper

    The president told a lot of lies in 2008.

    June 14, 2013 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  17. Leeford

    Why did he have to arrest them? I thought you could "pray the gay away".

    June 14, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  18. Michael

    If the protesters were disrupting anything, that's one ting. Violation of Freedom of Speech and Expression? That's something completely different. But the protesters do have a point: it's way past time that there be no discrimination in this country for ANYTHING. Christians preach tolerance and acceptance ... maybe it's time to put up or shut up.

    June 14, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  19. ally buster

    You can be the best employee in the business these days. If your boss decides that he/she doesn't like who you date....

    You can be fired.

    That is wrong!!

    June 14, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  20. Anonymous

    OK, we have the Hispanics, Afro-Americans, English, Germans, Dutch, and many, many more folks. And now everyone's, almost everyone, is getting bent over this LGBT Group? JHC!!!!! What has America come to?

    June 14, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  21. db

    You can try and blame the president for a broken promise but it is up to Boehner and Congress to first pass a law allowing this.

    June 14, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  22. smith

    Geez, who cares? keep your personal life to yourself. Why is it gay people always have run around how they are gay. I don`t run around saying im straight or talk about personal life. Some of these folks (not all) have some issues.

    June 14, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  23. Bill D

    ""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." "

    There are a lot of things he said he'd do and hasn't done. We were going to be out of Afghanistan in 24 months, he was going to have gitmo closed in 18 months, and the list goes on and on.

    June 14, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    "There are a lot of things he said he'd do and hasn't done. We were going to be out of Afghanistan in 24 months, he was going to have gitmo closed in 18 months, and the list goes on and on."
    Ahhhhhhhhh... but the suckers bought it and voted for him not only once, but twice. So who's to blame?

    June 14, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  25. kurtinco

    Why were they arrested? Don't we have a right to assemble and protest in this country? I guess not if that includes protesting a congressman. But whatever you do, don't take their guns. That would be wrong.

    June 14, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
1 2 3 4