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Law Students Stand up for Gays, Walk out on Anti-Gay Graduation Speaker

Some college graduates in Michigan walked a little bit early — rather than walking across the stage, they stood up and walked out of their own graduation ceremony. Bye!

Why’d they do it? In protest of their graduation speaker, Senator Rob Portman. He’s about as odious as you’d expect an anti-gay politician to be: he’s all about the sanctity of marriage but only for straight people, voted for DOMA and a federal Constitutional marriage ban, and wanted to ban gay couples from adopting.

He’s a rabidly anti-gay politician and he’s married to a woman, so, you know.

Despite uproar from the student body, the University of Michigan refused to disinvite the monster. And so, when he got up to speak, about a hundred students got up and left, caps and gowns and all.

Meanwhile, Michican Law Dean Evan Caminker may (or may not) re-evaluate the process for selecting speakers for next year’s graduation. Here’s a tip: if the guy thinks he has a right to pry into your students’ sex lives and labels them unfit to be parents, maybe you ought to rethink the invite.

By:           matt baume
On:           May 10, 2011
Tagged: , , ,

  • 36 Comments
    • Cam
      Cam

      The Dean had an agenda and that is why he brought in this speaker.

      Michigan is one of the top law schools in the country, it’s been as high as #1 and never out of the top 10…and yet the dean is trying to pretend that a not well known Senator from Ohio is the best that one of the premier Law Schools in the entire country could snag as a grad speaker? Sure.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick
      Nick

      WOOT. Thank you guys so much for supporting the LGBT community. Great! We have a new generation of Pro-Gay Laywers. NO MORE LAWSUITS AGAINST THE GAY COMMUNITY!

      May 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      If Rob Portman commences to speak, does it make a sound? It must suck to get a lousy graduation speaker. They should just hand the graduates a wet rolled up newspaper from 1982 missing the comics and sports section.

      May 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • delurker
      delurker

      He’s also a Bushie. Ew.

      May 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hf2hvit
      hf2hvit

      If conservatives are so bent on saving marriage, why do they make heroes of republican ADULTERERS???

      Republicans sure love their adulterers:

      GINGRICH, LIMBAUGH, VITTER, MC CAIN, CRAIG, PALLADINO, GIULIANI, BARR, ENSIGN, TRUMP, LEE

      And all why espousing FAMILY VALUES!!!

      May 10, 2011 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er
      scott ny'er

      Kudos to these law grads. Thanks for the support!

      May 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      Yeah, they really showed him. *eyeroll*

      Getting up and taking fifty or so steps to the nearest exit…wow.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      Impressive.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ~PR~
      ~PR~

      @TheRealAdam: They made their point. It certainly seems as if you see it as “too little” but your objection makes me wonder what your contribution has been. My guess is that it is easy to dis from behind a screen-name. I sure do hope that I’m wrong and you have done incomparable things to better the community and our future prospects but even then, a little humility would serve you well.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @~PR~: What point did they make, exactly? That they have legs and they know how to use them? Well, bravo! I guess that makes any random straight person who’s incidentally waking away from an anti-gay person at any given time, a hero and a martyr for the cause.

      Thanks for clearing that up.

      May 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      *walking away

      May 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BlueBird
      BlueBird

      TheRealAdam-The point was to show the speaker that they were not going to deal with his nonsense. Graduation is a time for happiness, inspiration, and joy. Talking smack about people is very inappropriate.

      As a graduation speaker, it’s a special honor to be invited to speak to the graduating class. To be snubbed by those who is waiting to listen to your words of wisdom is humiliating.

      Icing on the cake is when it got covered by the news and is known throughout the country what a D-bag he is. It also indirectly tells people that blatant attacks on any citizen based on his/her race, gender, etc. is not cool and will not be tolerated.

      May 11, 2011 at 2:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dannyal
      dannyal

      wow, BlueBird, you are so nice and patient to want to break it down like that. I have no patience whatsoever for dumb people. haha. Well, dumb is okay, I guess. But dumb and snarky? hell no.

      May 11, 2011 at 4:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @BlueBird: Well, you’re entitled to your opinion of this.

      However, there was no “snubbing” involved, since there were still plenty of people in that room listening to him speak. More importantly, the students never even wanted him there and didn’t bring him to the school, so how could he have been “snubbed” by them? That doesn’t make any sense. He spoke for the administration that paid him the fee for attending the ceremony. I’m sure he couldn’t care less about the students that left.

      And the only way there could be “icing on the cake” is if he was actually *ashamed* of his stance on gay rights and it being broadcasted on the news, but that’s not the case. He’s more than likely enjoying all the attention he’s receiving – in addition to the check he got from Michigan.

      I’m sorry, but the students leaving is a fail. There are more diplomatic ways to handle bigots, such as making sure that they are not invited a second time around. Walking out proves nothing except that they were looking to be seen. Pathetic. And the joke is really on them because they think they’re martyrs, but really they’ve only helped him and his message of hate. He won’t be punished; he will be (and already has been) rewarded.

      May 11, 2011 at 4:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gus
      Gus

      While I support the walkout, this received zero coverage in Ohio, you know, the state that sent Portman to the Senate. It is amazing how little coverage the Senator receives in his home state.

      May 11, 2011 at 6:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Kudos to the University of Michigan students who walked out on this sanctimonious and bigoted Portman guy. I just hope that his sons all turn out to be gay.

      May 11, 2011 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @TheRealAdam: said…

      “Yeah, they really showed him. *eyeroll*

      Getting up and taking fifty or so steps to the nearest exit…wow.”
      ________________________

      Considering that the ONLY reason he was there, was to be listened to respectfully by the graduates, and that by doing this they completely negated his reason for being there…yeah, they did show him.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam Wheat
      Sam Wheat

      @TheRealAdam: Thought I’d show a little solidarity and let you know that you’re right: A spontaneous protest does nothing but make the protestors feel self-important and look petulant. Had they taken the time to organize a protest in advance, perhaps it could have gained traction and they might have prevented the man from appearing in the first place.

      May 11, 2011 at 10:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Sam Wheat:

      They did, and the dean refused.

      As far as spontaneous protests doing nothing? Yeeeahhhh…nothing except getting on the news, and now forcing the University to announce that they will change their process for choosing speakers, as well as letting LGBT law students know that there is a supportive community at Michigan if they choose to go there.

      So yeah….nothing.

      (My guess is that “Sam Wheat” is “AndrewW” with a new screename.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh
      Elloreigh

      @Sam Wheat: Gotta love it when people spout off about stuff without any knowledge it.

      It was not a “spontaneous protest”. It was planned well in advance, as were the rainbow buttons and tassles that people wore to show their solidarity with their fellow LGBT students (and it wasn’t just students joining in on that – there were also faculty members).

      They were following University guidelines governing protests, for starters. Secondly, while it might not mean much to outsiders, this form of protest was meaningful to the students involved and was appropriate to the circumstances.

      Would you rather they had done something loud and disruptive? What do you imagine that would have accomplished?

      Moreover, it’s their graduation, and their protest. Unless you’re one of their fellow students, I don’t see how what you think about it actually matters.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wyatt
      Wyatt

      Lame troll is lame. Please do not feed it. TheRealAdam clearly has not lurked enough to know how to troll well enough, yet.

      May 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ~PR~
      ~PR~

      @Sam Wheat: Color me shocked, but obviously you didn’t even watch the video clip. This was planned. It was hardly spontaneous.

      May 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @Cam: But these things aren’t anything. Michigan was already pro-gay (as are most universities and their schools), so reaffirming that message isn’t really going to change anything. And again, getting the guy on the news is only helping him, not destroying him. And wow, Michigan *now* deciding after the outcry that they will alter their policy on who comes or who doesn’t, *after* the fact? That doesn’t amount to much of anything, at all.

      @Elloreigh: So basically, you’re saying that only the opinion of people who totally support the “protest,” are the opinions that matter? That’s absurd. If people with differing opinions on this topic don’t matter, than neither do those like you and the others who support it.

      @Wyatt: Actually, I’ve been here a while, long before the new site was set up. Stick around, you might learn something.

      May 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @TheRealAdam: said…

      “”@Cam: But these things aren’t anything. Michigan was already pro-gay (as are most universities and their schools), so reaffirming that message isn’t really going to change anything. And again, getting the guy on the news is only helping him, not destroying him. And wow, Michigan *now* deciding after the outcry that they will alter their policy on who comes or who doesn’t, *after* the fact? That doesn’t amount to much of anything, at all.”"
      _________________________

      I LOVE how you just make statements without any facts or back-up.

      So, just how is getting on TV going to “Help” this politician? If it “Helps” him, why then doesn’t it “Help” gay rights since the protestors are also on TV?

      The fact that the policy was altered “After the Fact” isn’t irrelevent. Is it “Irrelevent” that the laws against kidnapping etc… were changed AFTER the child that “Meghans Law” was based on was killed? No, it didn’t help her, but they have helped thousands of others.

      May 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh
      Elloreigh

      @TheRealAdam: “So basically, you’re saying that only the opinion of people who totally support the “protest,” are the opinions that matter?”

      No, that isn’t what I said. What I really said is there in black and white for whoever cares to read – no distorted revisions from the likes of you is necessary.

      @TheRealAdam:”If people with differing opinions on this topic don’t matter, than neither do those like you and the others who support it.”

      As far as I’m concerned, the only opinions that matter with regard to this issue are those of the students, faculty and administration at UM Law. You may bloviate all you like, but it’s just a lot of pointless hot air at this point. Portman spoke, the students protested, and it looks like the administration will act differently when it comes to speaker selection going forward.

      Why you think your opinion matters, or even why you presume the protest was ineffective, I can’t fathom. All you’ve really accomplished is proving you’re an outside who doesn’t understand the culture of UM Law, or what the protest was about, or what the student’s goals were in mounting that protest.

      To me, you appear to be nothing more than a know-nothing with a big mouth who likes to hear himself spout crap. Clear enough?

      May 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @Elloreigh: I know perfectly well what the protest was about, and I deemed it ineffective, childish, and frivolous. There’s nothing else to discuss on that matter. And if only the “students, faculty, and administration’s” opinions mattered, then you certainly wouldn’t be giving your opinion of me or the story, or responding to the other commenter who disagreed with the protest. That just shows me that you are a hypocritical cunt who can’t handle a dissenting opinion.

      And your opinion of me is completely irrelevant to the story. But, if your interests are in attacking me, I’d advise that you come with something a little more creative than “know-nothing with a big mouth who likes to hear himself spout crap,” since that would risk me being confused with the likes of you, and I simply cannot allow that.

      @Cam: We are all technically making predictions and assumptions “without any facts or back-up,” so I don’t know how or why you are trying to call me out on that when you’re basically guilty of the same thing. All of these are just opinions and I happen to disagree with yours.

      The first part of your response about it “helping him” I actually covered in post #14.

      As for the second part of your post, to quote from the story: “Michigan Law Dean Evan Caminker may (or may not) re-evaluate the process for selecting speakers for next year’s graduation.”

      So, there is no guarantee that anything will be changed.

      May 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ~PR~
      ~PR~

      @TheRealAdam: Love, you call someone else out for saying your opinion is invalid (justifiably… your opinion, whether I disagree with it or not, is completely warranted) and then turn around and pull the same stunt? What is that called again?

      May 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @~PR~: Where did I “pull the same stunt” and say anyone’s opinion is “invalid?”

      May 11, 2011 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ~PR~
      ~PR~

      @TheRealAdam: Disregard. I misread what you wrote. The word opinion was thrown around so many times, my overtaxed mind was mismatching their intended messages. I’m sorry.

      May 11, 2011 at 9:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @~PR~: No apologies necessary.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gregger
      gregger

      @Sam Wheat: Do you ever think or read before you post? I mean some of the crap that you write in wouldn’t even pass the muster on a soap opera or for a kindergarten commencement. You have the balls to take people to task for their calling an idiot a fool, yet you routinely troll for like reactions. When you receive those reactions you whine about the mentality of the person and then proceed to lower the bar by calling those persons names more reprehensible than those that were initially used. You, who routinely talk about the glories of the Republican party including their “fiscal responsibility.” The only party to take a $330 Billion budget surplus and turn that surplus into a more than $2 Trillion budget deficit in 7 years. You, who sides with people calling moderates “Democratic Whores.” You, who accuse people of voting party line without asking those persons, all the while you berate them. Later, in other posts you admit to voting party line with the people who routinely vote against you (YES YOU QUEEN) having basic civil rights.

      May 11, 2011 at 11:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh
      Elloreigh

      @TheRealAdam:
      “if only the “students, faculty, and administration’s” opinions mattered, then you certainly wouldn’t be giving your opinion of me or the story”

      Don’t be so sure. You just might be talking to someone in a real position to know a hell of a lot more about it than you realize.

      As for the rest, it isn’t worthy of a further response.

      May 12, 2011 at 12:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gregger
      gregger

      @Elloreigh: well stated.

      May 12, 2011 at 1:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @Elloreigh: I’m not concerned with what you know or don’t know, or whether or not you’re a part of the groups you mentioned. It wouldn’t change my opinion of the situation no matter what you revealed. That whole “if you’re not a part of such and such group means your opinion doesn’t count” was your call, not mine, and I simply don’t respect it.

      Anyway, I’m really not interested in discussing the matter with you. I think the walk-out was unfortunate and in poor taste, and I’m sorry you don’t agree with me on that.

      May 12, 2011 at 2:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @TheRealAdam:

      Nice avoidence. you didn’t cover the substance of my question in post #14. But a nice try at deflection.

      You claimed that the attention of this walkout would only help the Senator.

      I pointed out that by your own logic, then the attention must help gay rights, since the only people being interviewed were the students who participated and not the Senator. So if “Attention” helps one, then it must help the other.

      But I see why you would want to gloss over that, since it doesn’t fit with your opinion.

      May 12, 2011 at 10:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealAdam
      TheRealAdam

      @Cam: Well “by my own logic,” it could go either way. It’s just a matter of opinion.

      I fail to see how this move could hurt the senator in any important way, seeing as how he is known to be a bigot.

      May 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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