WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama took on a heckler head-on at a gay pride month reception at the White House Wednesday, scolding the protester for being disrespectful in “my house.”
The heckler had interrupted Obama’s remarks by protesting the detention and deportation of gay, lesbian and transgender immigrants.
The president responded, “Hold on a second.” When the heckler persisted, Obama, flashing an exasperated look, countered, “OK, you know what?” Wagging his finger and shaking his head, Obama said, “No, no, no, no, no,” repeating the word more than a dozen times.
As the heckler continued to talk over him, Obama took it up a notch.
“Hey. Listen. You’re in my house,” he said to laughter and woos from the crowd. “You know what? It’s not respectful when you get invited to somebody. You’re not going to get a good response from me by interrupting me like this. I’m sorry. I’m sorry … Shame on you, you shouldn’t be doing this.”
In his remarks, Obama said that regardless of how the Supreme Court rules in an upcoming decision on gay marriage, there has been an undeniable shift in attitudes across the country. He said he’s closely watching the decisions the high court will announce in the coming days, which include a case that could affirm the right of gay couples nationwide to marry.
The president singled out discrimination facing transgender Americans as an area where more progress needs to be made.