Andrew Shirvell, assistant to Michigan
Attorney General Mike Cox, is defending his right to harass openly
gay student Chris Armstrong.
Armstrong was elected president of the
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor Student Assembly in April. Among
his campaign pledges was a promise to push for a gender-neutral
option in university housing.
Since then, Shirvell, a U of M alum,
has led a one-man protest against Armstrong. Shirvell repeatedly
attacks Armstrong in lengthy blog posts at Chris Armstrong Watch,
a website he runs.
He begins a recent post titled OUTRAGE
ALERT: Armstrong Invites U of M Freshman to Join the Homosexual
Lifestyle with: “Parents of University of Michigan freshmen
beware: the University's first openly 'gay' student body president,
Chris Armstrong, is actively recruiting your sons and daughters to
join the homosexual 'lifestyle.'”
The blog is peppered with accusations
that Armstrong is preying on impressionable freshmen.
“It seems that the aim of this
'party' is to liquor-up underage freshmen and promote homosexual
activity,” he writes in a post.
Shirvell has also heckled Armstrong at
political rallies and protested outside of his home.
In an interview Tuesday with CNN's
Anderson Cooper, Shirvell defended his right to harass Armstrong.
“Andrew I want to go over some of the
stuff that you have on your blog,” Cooper says. “There's a
picture of Chris Armstrong with a Nazi swastika under his face,
there's another with the words 'racist elitist liar' scrawled on his
face. You accuse him at one point of being Satan's representative on
the student assembly.”
“You're a state official. This is a
college student. What are you doing?”
“This is a political campaign. This
is nothing personal against Christ,” Shirvell responded.
“I'm a Christian citizen exercising
my First Amendment rights. I have no problem with the fact that
Chris is a homosexual. I have a problem with the fact that he's
advancing a radical homosexual agenda,” he added.
Shirvell's boss, Attorney General Mike
Cox, a Republican, issued a stern warning against Shirvell: “All
state employees have a right to free speech outside working hours.
But Mr. Shirvell's immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office