Chris Armstrong, University of Michigan Student Assembly President by LawCrossing


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Chris Armstrong, University of Michigan Student Assembly President
By Rebecca Neely

Andrew Shirvell, Michigan’s assistant attorney general, was removed on Monday for attacking Chris Armstrong, the first openly gay
president of the University of Michigan’s student assembly. In recent months, his bizarre actions and unnatural preoccupation with
Armstrong’s sexual orientation, along with an inflammatory blog Shirvell started in the spring, had prompted condemnation from local
officials and the University of Michigan to ban the state official from campus.

Shirvell, 30, was fired after a two-day disciplinary hearing on        practice law in the state as Armstrong has asked the Michigan
allegations he had harassed and stalked Armstrong.                     Attorney Grievance Commission to disbar him.

The former assistant attorney general had said he was                  A University of Michigan graduate, Shirvell began a blog in
exercising his First Amendment rights during his personal              April called ‘’Chris Armstrong Watch’’ in which he called the
time. But Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who previously           student a ‘’radical homosexual activist, racist, elitist, & liar’’
defended Shirvell’s free speech rights, said Shirvell was              and ‘’Satan’s representative on the Student Assembly.’’
removed because he harassed Armstrong and lied to
investigators during the hearings.                                     He warned parents to ‘’beware: the University’s first openly
                                                                       ‘gay’ student body president.... is actively recruiting your sons
Cox cited three visits Shirvell made to the student’s home,            and daughters to join the homosexual ‘lifestyle.’ ‘’
one at 1:30 am. Shirvell had also followed Armstrong while
the student was out with friends in Ann Arbor, and made calls          The blog, which can now only be seen by invited readers,
to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, where Armstrong           showed photos of Armstrong with swastikas digitally added to
was an intern, in an attempt to have the student fired.                his face.

Officials also found that Shirvell had posted attacks against          On October 6th, Armstrong spoke publicly for the first time
the student on the Internet while he was at work. However,             with Anderson Cooper about the blog, and his ordeal. He said
the online posts were not cited for Shirvell’s removal from            he was speaking out because of recent reports of teens who’d
office.                                                                committed suicide after being bullied for being gay.

Cox said in a statement to the Detroit Free Press: ‘’To be clear,      Rutgers University music student Tyler Clementi jumped off
I refuse to fire anyone for exercising their First Amendment           the George Washington Bridge after his roommate and another
rights, regardless of how popular or unpopular their positions         student secretly videotaped him having sex with a man inside
might be. However, Shirvell repeatedly violated office policies,       his dorm room and streamed the encounter online.
engaged in borderline stalking behavior, and inappropriately
used state resources, our investigation showed.’’                      Shirvell’s removal also comes a little over a week after an
                                                                       Arkansas school official was forced to resign because of
Shirvell’s lawyer told the Free Press that the decision to             national uproar over his emotionally charged comments on
remove the assistant attorney general seemed ‘’political.’’ The        Facebook mocking gays and the teens who committed suicide.
former state official still faces the possibility of being unable to


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