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Note to would-be hecklers: Don’t mess with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Ten minutes into a campaign fundraising speech in Washington, D.C. Tuesday evening, Michelle Obama firmly handled a gay rights heckler, Ellen Sturtz, who openly disrespected Obama by shouting and demanding that President Barack Obama sign an executive order on gay rights.

Watch video below.

“I don’t care what you believe,” the first lady said in a stern voice, before leaving the podium and walking straight toward the woman. “One of the things I don’t do well is this.”

Michelle Obama was furious – and for good reason. I’m sure the first lady is tired of ill-mannered, impertinent people who feel they can say anything to First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama. Where is the respect for the first lady of this nation? When did it become acceptable to shout at the First Lady at a private gathering?

Obama, who may have channeled her hometown — the South Side of Chicago – stepped away from the lectern and walked right up to the heckler.

“Listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving,” Obama said. “You all decide. You have one choice.”

I’m glad Michelle Obama took charge of the situation. She didn’t ask for back-up from the Secret Service; she didn’t retreat; she didn’t try to play nice. She confronted a troublemaker – directly. It was a great decision and a good lesson for our children: Don’t back down to bullies.

“She came right down in my face,” Sturtz, an activist with the GetEQUAL campaign group, which campaigns for lesbian and gay rights, told The Washington Post.  “I was taken aback.”


Sturtz was “taken aback” because the first lady put her in her place after Sturtz disrespected Obama? What did she expect Michelle Obama to do? Ignore her? Run away like a frightened child?

Michelle Obama once again showed her formidable side; her no-nonsense side; and her willingness to push back against those who are rude and obnoxious.

COMMENTARY: Michelle Obama in Standoff With Heckler: ‘I Don’t Care What You Believe’  was originally published on

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