Andrew Shirvell Claims to Be Victim of University of Michigan Student Body President Chris Armstrong’s ‘Homosexual Agenda’


In early April I reported that University of Michigan President student body president Chris Armstrong was suing former Michigan assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell for stalking and cyber-bullying Armstrong for months. Shirvell lost his job as a result of his actions.

Armstrong is seeking more than $25,000 in damages.

Said Armstrong's attorney: "This guy has behaved so irresponsibly, especially for an attorney. He’s a rebel without a cause. At this point, it’s not about the money. Mr. Shirvell has refused to retract any of his bizarre and untruthful points. We want to set the record straight."

Now Shirvell wants the case thrown out. The Detroit Free Press reports on a May 6 filing in which Shirvell asks the judge to dismiss Armstrong's lawsuit and claims he is the real victim:

The filing claims that Armstrong actually pursued a “course of action” against Shirvell “to make an example out of (me) in order to deter others from criticizing (Armstrong’s) homosexual activist agenda.” 

“Mr. Armstrong’s lawsuit is politically motivated,” Shirvell said in an e-mail. “For months, Mr. Armstrong has garnered publicity for himself and for his political agenda by trashing me in the media. The lawsuit filed on April 1st is nothing more than Mr. Armstrong’s latest publicity stunt. It is entirely without merit and totally devoid of reality. Mr. Armstrong has suffered no damages. I am confident that the Court will ultimately throw-out Mr. Armstrong’s baseless lawsuit and that my First Amendment rights will be upheld.”

Shirvell's claims couldn't be further from the truth.


  1. jaymax says

    The Michigan Bar should invoke its moral character/fitness clause and disbar Shirvell. There’s precedent for such an action. He’s a disgrace to the profession.

  2. coolbearinmd says

    It seems like we spend a lot of our time watching crazy people self-destruct in public. To some extent, it seems like a consequence of mainstream media failing to report things in an informative rather than sensational way. When Donald Trump can seize headlines with a smear campaign that the papers and TV aren’t willing to identify as a smear campaign, it seems like something’s wrong. If Shirvell gets this much attention for paranoid fantasy that’s not identified as paranoid fantasy, that seems like a failure. Fox News at least tries to put out “experts” (who advance a very limited agenda); why isn’t coverage of Shirvell accompanied by some kind of analysis by an actual psychiatrist rather than a political junkie talking head?

  3. Joey Y says

    This whole episodes makes me seriously question exactly how stringent the requirements are to practice law in that state. Seriously, who can seriously go around accusing someone (falsely) of being a racist, a member of the KKK, and a liar, much less some college kid, and still be licensed to practice law?

  4. walter says

    hasn’t this closet case come out yet and admit he has a serious crush on armstrong. this man is still dangerous and pose a threat. the man should lose his license to practice law.

  5. Codswallop says

    I paid attention to this story when it was happening, mostly because it was so bizarre and Shirvell came across as a psychotic, Pee-Wee Herman look-alike closet case.

    If anything, Chris Armstrong held off way longer than most people would have before suing Shirvell for his bizarre campaign of stalking and intimidation! The media picked up on this way before Armstrong filed suit and it was Shirvell who trashed himself in the media. There was no way to see his course of action as balanced and reasonable, especially for a state Asst. AG.

    A lot of homophobes are at least a little “off,” but Shirvell is in another league entirely, possibly even dangerous. I don’t know if this is some odd unrequited crush or whatever, but I really think Armstrong needs to watch out for this guy.

  6. Rowan says


    This is where Chris and his bleeding liberal heart f*cked up royally. He should’ve nipped this in the bud asap. This guy was clearly insane and needed to be called out.

    It was the media that did Chris the wimps dirty work because this Andrew guy was spamming places like Towleroad and Queerty going crazy about this guy.

    Chris needs/ed to grown a pair. If this was the other way round and he was doing this about Andrew’s christianity, do you think Chris would still have a job?? Huh?

    I don’t CARE if he is closeted or not, though that always seems to be the ever so predictable insult from gays. Yawn.

    I guess calling someone gay is hitting them where it hurts huh? Oh the irony.

    We are own worst enemy which is why the Right and Christians are winning the anti-gay fight by a long shot.

  7. pdxblueyes says

    Is anyone paying close attention to this nut case? People like that are the kind that show up with a gun and start shooting. It’s happened in the past and I fear that this guy is just unbalanced enough to follow the same course of action, should he be taken to task for his homophobic, unstable actions. Shirvell scares the crap out of me. Not because he is so menacing, but because he is so unpredictable…

  8. mike says

    He looks like a repressed gay to me. And I don’t say that often. But he owes that guy damages for sure that was ridiculous he had to be fearing for his life.

  9. Diogenes says

    I don’t care whether Shirvell is a closet case or not. It is strictly irrelevant. He does seem to be obsessive and probably delusional. He needs treatment not litigation.

  10. Codswallop says

    Rowan, have you seen Shirvell interviewed?

    It’s a stereotype that homophobes are really gay, sometimes it’s true and sometimes not. But I don’t think ANYONE who saw Shirvell interviewed walked away thinking, “Now there’s a man comfortable and confident in his own sexuality!” Speculating that Shirvell’s behavior might have something to do with an unresolved sexual conflict isn’t a slur against him, it’s stating the painfully bloody obvious!

    So take the stick out of your @ss, and keep your homophobic “grow a pair” and “wimp” BS to yourself. Thanks.

  11. Paul R says

    Following on Coldswallop’s comment, it was Shirvell’s boss—Michigan’s attorney general—who should have taken action MUCH sooner. Instead he allowed his employee to stalk, blog about, and torment a harmless college student who happened to be gay. Armstrong’s “agenda” involved mundane issues like the prices of food on campus. His sexuality was never an issue until Shirvell incessantly made it one.

    His boss was worried that silencing his employee would be seen as stomping on his First Amendment rights, but it seems clear that he was just covering for him because he at least partly agreed with his antigay crazy talk. Shirvell and his (now former) boss are an embarrassment to the state.

  12. Keith says

    Of all people, Shirvell should know the difference between First Amendment free speech rights; and speech used to intimidate, abuse, threaten, defame and attack someone. While the law allows you the right to say what you wish, it doesn’t protect you from the consequences of such speech if you violate the law. People always seem to forget the responsibility part of hate speech, and Christian wingnuts are famous for attacking and then playing the victim when those who are being attacked begin to defend themselves (just look at NOM, FOF, Ruth Center, etc.).

  13. Bill says

    @Rowan “Chris needs/ed to grown a pair.”

    Actually, Chris is a student and should be concentrating on his classes, and most students don’t have the financial resources to launch a lawsuit of this kind on their own.

  14. Codswallop says

    If I recall correctly, Armstrong’s father is a successful attorney. I don’t think the delay in filing suit against Shirvell was due to lack of “balls” or money. First Armstrong went for a restraining order, which was granted then partially rescinded. Initially Shirvell wasn’t allowed on the UofM campus at all, then he was able to get it reduced so he could go on campus but not near Armstrong. If anything the delay could have been due to how bizarre the situation was, Armstrong hoping it would be easily resolved and just go away. What college student expects an adult, much less an Assistant Attorney General for the state, to launch a campaign of harassment, stalking, and bullying against them? The delay could also have been a tactical decision, given that Armstrong’s father is a lawyer, intended to give Shirvell enough rope to hang himself, dig himself in just a little deeper, which he did.

    It’s also worth noting that Shirvell wasn’t just another “grunt” in the Attorney General’s office, as AG Mike Cox claimed in interviews about this situation. Shirvell was an active member of and a donor to Cox’s election campaign. It’s also not true that Cox’s “hands were tied” in the Shirvell matter, as was also claimed. In fact, Shirvell had already been spoken to once before about sending harassing anti-gay emails from work, using state equipment, before the events surrounding Armstrong began. When questioned about the Armstrong blog Shirvell claimed (aka lied) none of it was posted during working hours or using state computer equipment, a statement that was easily proved false by comparing the timestamps on blog posts with Shirvell’s work records. Cox didn’t want to get rid of Shirvell because he’d helped Cox get elected. Cox was also a conservative homophobe, though not as obvious as Shirvell, who apparently doesn’t know the meaning of “lay low” and kept up his campaign against Armstrong, bringing bad PR to the AG’s office and forcing Cox’s hand. That bad publicity may be at least partly why Cox, who ran for Governor in 2008, came in 3rd in the Republican Primary.

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