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Watch: Over 100 Michigan Law Grads Walk Out on Anti-Gay Ohio Senator Rob Portman's Commencement Speech


More than 100 University of Michigan law school graduates walked out on a commencement address by Ohio Senator Rob Portman over the lawmaker's anti-gay views on Saturday, Pride Source reports:

Outside the Hill Auditorium guests attending Senior Day were handed a pamphlet explaining the coming protest. About 60 percent of the graduates wore rainbow buttons or flair on their gowns. Family and friends of the graduates wore the rainbow ribbon to show solidarity with grads who would be affected by Portman's votes.

The pamphlet contained a letter from more than 200 Michigan Law alumni to Dean Caminker.

"Senator Portman, in public life, has actively worked to deny some members of the graduating class their civil rights ... Our objection is not a political one ... rather we are concerned about the message Michigan Law is sending by giving an anti-gay rights speaker the honor of marking what should be a joyful occasion," the letter read.

Watch interviews outside the auditiorium with protesting students, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via Think Progress)

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  1. Nice work Michigan!

    Posted by: Alpha | May 9, 2011 1:04:34 PM

  2. this needs to happen more often. we are so guilt, as a cuture, of sitting back and saying "oh, it's an opinion...."

    yeah, it's a hateful, harmful, mythological and rhetorical opinion that has no place in society.

    we don't tolerate anti-Semitism, nor racism. so why does culture give a pass when it's discrimination against "the gays"?

    kudos to these awesome students!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 9, 2011 1:07:52 PM

  3. Well done Michigan! You just brought more honor to a day that should be filled with it. And congrats to all the grads too!

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | May 9, 2011 1:09:23 PM

  4. I needed a dose of optimism today, and this is it. I'm so glad someone is standing up for principles.

    Posted by: Justin Werner | May 9, 2011 1:15:08 PM

  5. Bravo!

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | May 9, 2011 1:20:50 PM

  6. Hail!

    Posted by: Tony | May 9, 2011 1:24:08 PM

  7. So glad that the students at my alma mater protested that Bigot.

    Posted by: homer | May 9, 2011 1:33:45 PM

  8. A friend of mine who was at that graduation said there was nowhere near 100 people who got up and walked out and the reporting of such is crap.

    That said, I appreciate the show of support even if it was only 20 people.

    Posted by: Adam | May 9, 2011 1:47:23 PM

  9. Why the hell would the administration ask him to speak at commencement in the first place?

    Posted by: LightningBoalt | May 9, 2011 1:48:56 PM

  10. If you're faced with voting the lessor of two evils, do you just not vote? In 2010 Ohio voters had to choose either Republican Portman or a Democrat who was sooooo much worse.

    Posted by: Jeff | May 9, 2011 1:55:41 PM

  11. Some anonymous person on the Internet is claiming that another anonymous person told him something? Well, that must be the gospel truth, then. Everyone knows that anonymous people on the Internet have never been wrong.

    Good for the Michigan 100! That's one hundred lawyers who are off to an excellent start. Saying no to bigotry is becoming more and more popular as our population ages and I couldn't be more happy to see the next generation taking over in this regard.

    Posted by: ohplease | May 9, 2011 1:56:51 PM

  12. Well done!

    Posted by: Matt26 | May 9, 2011 1:57:46 PM

  13. I fit was 100, that would be about a third of the class (with another third wearing rainbow flags in support)!

    Posted by: BABH | May 9, 2011 2:00:44 PM

  14. This sort of thing reflects well on our (and their, and everyone's) future. It's a good sign anyway. Hopefully we're not the only ones paying attention.

    Posted by: just_a_guy | May 9, 2011 2:02:46 PM

  15. I bleed Buckeye scarlet and gray, but today I very enthusiastically say, "Go Blue!" Bravo to these students for their integrity.

    Posted by: MrRoboto | May 9, 2011 2:10:47 PM

  16. F-ing awesome.

    Posted by: andypharmer | May 9, 2011 2:29:21 PM

  17. @Jeff - In what way was Lee Fisher "sooooo much worse" than Portman? Not in regards to gay rights as Fisher supported marriage equality.

    Posted by: travshad | May 9, 2011 2:34:45 PM

  18. Another loyal Buckeye graduate saying-
    Hail to the Victors-Valiant-
    making the Michigan Difference-

    now if there were only some loyal Buckeyes who would do the same at commencement next month when the esteemd leader of the House of Representative-John of Orange speaks in Ohio Stadium- we can hope.

    Posted by: nick | May 9, 2011 3:14:21 PM

  19. @Jeff - Thanks for your 'concern' but this Buckeye gladly voted for Lee Fisher. Go Blue!

    Posted by: Esteban | May 9, 2011 3:14:26 PM

  20. This is terrific!

    Posted by: Mel | May 9, 2011 3:20:13 PM

  21. So sad that graduates' happy day had to be ruined by the choice of speaker. Its so encouraging to see principled students---and here I'm referring to the straight students, more than the gay ones--take a stand.

    Posted by: Pat | May 9, 2011 4:48:44 PM

  22. Proud to be a Wolverine! :) Go Blue!

    Posted by: luminum | May 9, 2011 4:50:26 PM

  23. Wonder if the admin learned anything.

    Posted by: Danny | May 9, 2011 5:20:59 PM

  24. @Adam: and your friend has greater credentials than the reporter because.... Thanks for tipping your hat, regardless.

    Posted by: Leif | May 9, 2011 9:37:08 PM

  25. I think this Univ has a larger problem... how was THIS guy the only one available to speak, and from the LAW SCHOOL, no less?!

    Clearly, the leadership of the school share this guy's opinions or it never would have been allowed to happen.

    I understand the drama of the moment, but I sure hope there will be follow-through.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | May 10, 2011 12:22:57 AM

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