Andrew Shirvell started waging his hate-filled campaign against Chris Armstrong, the University of Michigan's gay student-assembly president, six months ago, soon after Armstrong was elected. On his blog Chris Armstrong Watch, Shirvell, who wrote under the alias "Concerned Michigan Alumnus," posted a photo of a swastika superimposed over a gay-pride flag with an arrow pointing to Armstrong's face. He protested outside Armstrong's house, calling him "Satan's representative on the student assembly." He accused Armstrong of seducing "a previously conservative" student until he "morphed into a proponent of the radical homosexual agenda." So who exactly is Shirvell? Is he (a) an unhinged homophobe who chose a college student as the unsuspecting object of his anxiety and rage, (b) someone who doesn't understand how Facebook works, (c) an assistant attorney general, employed by the state of Michigan, who works on the blog during his off-hours, or (d) all of the above?
The answer is: (d)! The answer is always (d), just FYI.
What did Armstrong do to provoke such aggression? Well, he supported gender-neutral housing for transgender students who haven't yet had sexual-reassignment surgery. Armstrong also joined a secret society on campus called the Order of Angell, which the Michigan Daily says has Native American artifacts in its meetings and rituals in the past, after he assured minority groups he wouldn't join. Both cases seem like issues that are par for the course of campus politics and hardly something appropriate for an assistant DA to attack a student over.
In fact, Shirvell's information on Armstrong and his cabal of radicals seems to be culled overwhelmingly from harmless Facebook posts. After Judge Vaughn Walker ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional in August, Armstrong updated his status to "Walker went to Michigan, just sayin'," which prompted Shirvell to accuse both the judge and Armstrong of being radical, homosexual elitists. When Armstrong's friend posted a picture of a religious bumper sticker with the caption, "Hahah ... direct quote from god," Shirvell said Armstrong and fellow radicals were hostile to Christians.
Michigan attorney general Mike Cox, Shirvell's employer, said,
is pursuing legal action against Shirvell, his employee, adding "his immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office are clear." As for Shirvell, he was unrepentant during an interview with Anderson Cooper. "I'm a Christian citizen exercising my First Amendment rights," he said. "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." Right, just the "agenda," of course.
Assistant attorney general blogs against gay student body president [CNN]
Chris Armstrong Watch [Official site]
MSA President Chris Armstrong responds publicly to criticism [Michigan Daily]