Thirteen gay rights campaigners have been arrested after handcuffing themselves to the White House fence in protest at the ban on out gay troops.

Yesterday’s demonstration was organised by the GetEQUAL campaign for gay rights and led by Iraq veteran Lt Dan Choi.

Those arrested included nine veterans and a Catholic priest. Five of the protesters, including Lt Choi, were arrested when they pulled the same stunt in March.

They held the demonstration at midday to coincide with the opening of the lame duck session in Congress and put pressure on lawmakers to end the policy, which is known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

CNN reports they shouted “I am somebody! I deserve full equality!” as police cut through their handcuffs and bound their wrists with plastic ties.

In a statement, GetEQUAL co-founder and director Robin McGehee said: “Today, we have sent a loud and clear message to the US Senate and President Obama that we expect them to make good on their promises to end this inhumane law this year, during the lame-duck session of Congress.”

Last Friday, the US Supreme Court declined a request to lift the ban on out gay troops serving in the military

Focus will now turn to Congress and America’s largest gay rights group, Human Rights Campaign, is calling for grassroots action to urge the Senate to pass a defence bill with a repeal measure attached.