CHARLOTTE, N.C. — First Lady Michelle Obama was an honored guest this afternoon at a Human Rights Campaign and Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund luncheon to honor LGBT elected officials. Fresh off her captivating primetime convention speech kicking off events on Tuesday evening, Obama brought LGBT supporters to their feet as she asked for their help in reelecting her husband.
“Our president, my husband, has stood strong for the values of freedom, justice and equality that make this country great,” Obama said, speaking 20 minutes late though with no discernible consternation from those gathered to see her.
When she talked about ensuring that “all Americans are treated fairly, no matter who you are or who you love,” a man called “I love Barack!”
“I do too,” Obama said. “We have something in common.”
Later, she spoke about giving everyone the right to “do what Barack and I did and marry the loves of our lives.”
In asking for help in the campaign Obama turned parental.
“You see my face,” she said. “It’s my serious first lady face.” She added, to the crowd’s laughter: “My mom face. You heard me, Sasha.”
She asked LGBT voters to find five, 10 or more additional friends who can turn out to the polls in November.
The convention, she said, would “set the stage for what is at stake in the election and what should guide us over these next four years.” She asked those gathered if the democracy they envisioned meant turning elections over to “whoever buys the most ads on TV.” The crowd booed back and said, “No!”
Several high-profile LGBT and straight ally leaders were present, including convention chair and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias and U.S. Reps. Barney Frank, Jared Polis and Tammy Baldwin. Also present were New York City Council Speaker Christine Queen, Clinton White House advisor Richard Socarides and Diego Sanchez, Frank’s legislative assistant and Capitol Hill’s first out transgender staffer.
— Pool reporters Ann Doss Helms (The Charlotte Observer) and Chris Geidner (BuzzFeed) contributed.