An LGBT undocumented immigrant interrupted President Barack Obama during his Pride Month address at the White House on Wednesday, calling on the president to stop deportations of undocumented immigrants. The woman cut the president off early in a speech in which he marveled at the progress of LGBT rights in the country and spoke to the significance of a pending Supreme Court ruling, expected later this month, that could expand marriage rights for gay couples nationwide.
The president was not amused, and told the heckler, later identified as Jennicet Gutiérrez, "Hey, you're in my house. ... You know what, it's not respectful, when you get invited to somebody," before being cut off again. The interruptions continued for nearly two minutes before Gutiérrez was removed from the room.
“President Obama, release all LGBTQ immigrants from detention and stop all deportations,” said Gutiérrez, founder of immigrant rights group Familia TQLM, according to a press release from Not1MoreDeportation.
Reflecting on the White House events, Gutiérrez later wrote, "I am outraged at the lack of leadership that Obama demonstrated. He had no concern for the way that LGBTQ detainees are suffering. As a transwoman, the misgendering and the physical and sexual abuse -- these are serious crimes that we face in detention centers."
— Greg Krieg (@GregJKrieg) June 24, 2015
Gutiérrez was still yelling while being ushered out of the building as a frustrated Obama shook his head and said, "You're not going to get a good response from me by interrupting me."
"Shame on you, you shouldn't be doing this," Obama said before the crowd began chanting his name.
"As a general rule, I am just fine with a few hecklers, but not when I'm up in the house. You know what I mean?" he said, turning to Vice President Joe Biden after the woman was removed from the room. "Because, you know, my attitude is, if you're eating the hors d'oeuvres ... And drinking the booze, I know that's right. Anyway, where was I?"
Deportations under Obama have reached a record high. In 2013, according to a Pew survey, 438,000 individuals were deported from within the U.S. At the same time, the president has been a vocal supporter of immigration reform, and at the end of last year announced a controversial deportation relief program for some undocumented immigrants in the country.