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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Michigan attorney targets gay college president

This has been going on since March, but Anderson Cooper just thrust this sordid little story into the national spotlight.  You'd think a working attorney wouldn't have quite this much free time.  The following summary came from this blog:

Michigan assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell recently took a paid leave of absence after his favorite hobby became subject of a media frenzy. That hobby? Stalking and harassing a gay college student.  Shirvell claims that he's just a concerned Christian UM alumni.

The student, 21-year-old Chris Armstrong, is the University of Michigan student body president. Shirvell maintains a blog called Chris Armstrong Watch that tracks the student's every move, obsessively following Armstrong and his friends in real life and on Facebook and Twitter. Shirvell's blog includes a photo with a Nazi swastika-adorned rainbow flag superimposed over Armstrong's face along with the word "resign."

This is from the CNN website:

In an exclusive interview on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, college student Chris Armstrong said the recent rash of headlines about gay teens who have committed suicide has motivated him to break his silence about his own experience of being targeted online.

For months, Armstrong has been the subject of the blog “Chris Armstrong Watch” which is published by Andrew Shirvell, a lawyer in the Michigan attorney general’s office; Shirvell and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox have both maintained that the blog is a personal project of Shirvell’s done during non-work hours and without any official resources.

Armstrong, a college senior, is University of Michigan’s first openly gay student body president, and Shirvell is an alum of the university who has taken issue with what Shirvell calls Armstrong’s “radical homosexual agenda.”
After his blog garnered national media attention in the past week, Shirvell placed it behind a privacy firewall, making it only available to invited readers. Shirvell has also been barred from University of Michigan’s campus, and Armstrong is seeking a personal protection order against Shirvell.

In his first national interview about the situation, the college student told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that he did not ask to be the subject of Shirvell’s attention on- and offline. But Armstrong said he has decided to use the spotlight to try to reach other gay teens who may be going through something similar.

“Given what’s happened in the past week, and given the suicides that have happened in the past few weeks, it’s been, it’s been – it’s hard not to say something,” Armstrong explained.

He added, “I felt like it was important for me to speak out as well just because I think that it’s important for them to understand that things can get better. And it’s important to know you can reach out in your community, you can reach out to friends and they can support you.”



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