Lt. Dan Choi Arrested at the White House, More Civil Disobedience Expected in Protest of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo handcuffed to the White House gates moments before they were arrested. (Photo: John Aravosis)

Gay activists in D.C. say they are planning acts of civil disobedience today to show politicians they have lost patience with President Obama and lawmakers when it comes to gay rights legislation.

Earlier today, Lt. Dan Choi chained himself to a White House fence in part of protest over the slow response to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

According to Ahmir Rashid, a political consultant wearing a T shirt reading “Straight Folks for Marriage Equality” and a “Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” button, Choi and another lieutenant who had been discharged under DODT finished up a scheduled talk at a conference downtown, then walked up to the White House, gave a short speech and then chained themselves to the fence.

“That’s when the Secret Service pushed us back, taped off the area where Choi was, and a huge onslaught of police arrived. They used megaphones to urge them to uncuff themselves but quickly resorted to handcuff keys or something else to unlink them. They arrested them, put them in the police van and drove away.”

Apparently there are other efforts on deck for today, says Paul Yandura, a former GLBT outreach coordinator for Clinton/Gore in ’96 and a gay-rights fundraiser for the DNC who spoke to NEWSWEEK by cell phone.

“Expect more civil disobedience today,” he told NEWSWEEK.


“It’s time," says Yandura. "Our elected officials have shown that if there is not a crisis they won’t react. So we’re helping them.”

I interviewed John Aravoisis, founder of AmericaBlog, who was privy to the civil disobedience planning for today and witnessed Choi's arrest. Watch below:

Join the Discussion