Sometimes when politicians stop by graduations, things go swimmingly. When President George W. Bush attended the Air Force Academy’s graduation, he was embraced with chest bumps. But when he delivered the commencement address at Furman University, faculty protested; at Ohio State’s commencement, students turned their backs. When President Obama stopped by Notre Dame, there was a push to have pro-lifers turn their backs. Tomorrow, the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law will deliver diplomas to law school graduates. And when Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivers his speech? Expect to see a sea of buttons.
Several graduates, one student tells Queerty, will be wearing the buttons to protest McConnell’s appearance at the school. McConnell voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, they argue, so what business does he have speaking at a law school when he so willingly trampled on the U.S. Constitution? (Nevermind McConnell’s otherwise anti-gay voting record, which includes voting against protecting gays under hate crimes laws and voting in support of amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. His HRC score is zero.)
The buttons, worn on the graduates’ robes, will read “Sen. McConnell Does Not Speak For Me.”
They will not, however, include the subhead, “But on another note, when are you going to come out?” Because, like, really.
From the Facebook Group:
According to U of L’s site, the Law School’s Convocation will begin at 4:30 p.m. Graduates who are mostly “with us” will be arriving at Brown Theater by 3:30 p.m. It normally lasts about 90 minutes so the protest will be finishing up by 7pm.
Out of respect for the graduates, protesting inside the theater during the ceremony, which the students themselves planned, is discouraged. It is a special day for them and this event is not meant to distract from that in any way.
Below, read the letter students sent to Sen. McConnell’s office and the media.