Friday, October 01, 2010

MI Assistant AG suspended over gay-bashing blog - UPDATE

Andrew Shirvell with photo shopped picture of Chris Armstrong
UPDATE: It appears that Attorney General Mike Cox didn't suspend Asst. AG Andrew Shirvell. Shrivell says reports of his suspension are untrue, and that he has merely taken a voluntary leave of absence from his job.
Joy Yearout, a spokeswoman for Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, said this morning that media reports saying Cox suspended Shirvell were inaccurate.
If that's the case, then Cox should be fired!

Clearly these two anti-gay, Tea Party state employees should not be the leading law enforcement officials in the state.

* * * * * * * * * *

Finally, some good news! If you hadn't heard the background on this story, the Assistant Attorney General in Michigan -- Andrew Shirvell -- started a blog for the sole purpose of harassing University of Michigan student leader Chris Armstrong. So why would a presumed adult take the time to stalk and harass a college student? Chris Armstrong is gay.

Another Michigan blogger described Shirvell's behavior this way:
You would think the guy working for the republican Attorney General who lectures in schools about how to stop cyber bullying would know better. But Michigan AG Mike Cox's Asst., Andrew Shirvell just can't keep his teabagging, gay hating, religious zealot mouth shut.

College student Chris Armstrong is the President of the University of Michigan's Student Assembly. And he's been politically active, or as christian teabagger Asst. AG Shirvell might put it, "using his Nazi-like anti christian cult to lure innocent heterosexuals into accepting the evil gay." Evil, anti christian things like campaigning against tuition hikes, and working for safe housing for transgendered youth on campus.
Michigan's Attorney General has been reluctant to do anything, citing Shirvell's First Amendment free speech rights. All of Shirvell's blogging activity has allegedly taken place after hours.

Shirvell had recently stepped up his harassment of Armstrong by stalking the college student near his residence, and at local clubs where Armstrong was known to hang out. The actions caused Armstrong to seek a personal protection order against Shirvell.

I began this post by saying there is finally some good news! Well, after (cough) careful consideration, MI Attorney General Mike Cox has had a change of heart and suspended Shirvell.
Attorney General Mike Cox changed his stance Thursday, suspending Andrew Shirvell after the assistant attorney general attracted national attention for a controversial blog that ridicules and denounces a University of Michigan student leader for his gay advocacy, religious beliefs and character.

The suspension came a day after Cox told CNN he didn't intend to fire Shirvell, citing civil service rules that protect government employees from being "fired willy-nilly" for exercising their rights of free speech.

Cox said he hadn't earlier read all of Shirvell's blog, "Chris Armstrong Watch," that dogs Armstrong, the 21-year-old, openly gay president of U-M's student government and accuses him of "anti-Christian behavior," "mocking God," promoting homosexuality and trying "to recruit your sons and daughters" into the gay lifestyle.

"I'm at fault here," Cox said. "I've been saying for weeks that (Shirvell's) been acting like a bully, that his behavior is immature, but it's after-hours and protected by the First Amendment."
Republican (Tea party supporter) Cox couldn't leave it at just suspending Shirvell. He had to take a shot at Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who posted on Twitter that she would have fired Shirvell.
"I don't know why she's so freaking irresponsible. ... she went to Harvard Law School," Cox said. "The civil service rules are a huge shield for free speech and she knows that."

As governor, Granholm enacted policies applying to state workers that bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation -- but those rules apply to the workplace, not to what employees say or blog after-hours. The rules allow political appointees like Cox to fire employees for "just cause," including "conduct unbecoming a state employee," said Matt Fedorchuk, a spokesman for the state department of civil service.

What determines that conduct isn't explicitly described. [...]

Larry Dubin, a professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, said he doubts that Shirvell can effectively perform his job representing the public, when he's forcefully expressed his "biblical" views condemning homosexuality as the work of the devil. "My real concern is whether as an attorney for the Michigan Attorney General's Office, he can competently represent gay people in our state," Dubin said.

"Perhaps that raises a legitimate question as to his competency to hold this job, rather than examining his right to speak his brand of hate."
It doesn't stop there for Shirvell. Also on Thursday, Diane Brown, a spokeswoman for the campus police, confirmed Shirvell is subject to an ongoing investigation of "harassing or stalking" and banned from campus. Shirvell was read a trespass warning on Sept. 14 that bars him from setting foot on campus, Brown said. Shirvell is appealing the order, but no hearing date has been set.

Armstrong may need a body guard now that Shivell has been suspended.  Judging from the way Shivell has escalated his harassment of Armstrong, he's probably not safe.

We've heard a lot about kids bullying other kids lately. Is it any wonder this behavior takes place, when adults -- in positions of authority -- act this way!  Shivell needs to be fired, to send a strong statement that this behavior is not acceptable.

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