Andrew Shirvell, an assistant attorney general in Michigan, who, for nearly six months has waged an vicious online campaign against the openly gay student body president of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, went on personal leave today.
Shirvell will face a disciplinary hearing when he returns to work, a spokesman for the Michigan Attorney General’s office said Friday.
The move comes after intense public scrutiny this week of Shirvell’s personal blog, “Chris Armstrong Watch,” a venue he created and has used to vehemently attack Armstrong, calling him “Satan’s representative on the student assembly.”
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“I’m a Christian citizen exercising my First Amendment rights,” Shirvell told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday evening. “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.”
Appearing on AC 360, Shirvell made no apologies for his blog postings, which include the image (below) of Armstrong with “Resign” written over his face. The same picture also had a swastika superimposed over a gay pride flag, with an arrow pointing toward Armstrong.
In his first post last April, Shirvell wrote:
“Welcome to ‘Chris Armstrong Watch’. This is a site for concerned University of Michigan alumni, students, and others who oppose the recent election of Chris Armstrong — a RADICAL HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVIST, RACIST, ELITIST, & LIAR — as the new head of student government.”
Among Armstrong’s radical, homosexual agenda: he supported gender-neutral housing at the university for transgender students who haven’t had sexual reassignment surgery.
Calls for Shirvell’s firing have intensified since his blog made national headlines. (The blog was taken private following Shirvell’s appearance on CNN.)
Shirvell’s boss, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox appeared on CNN Wednesday evening, and told Cooper that he wasn’t planning to fire Shirvell, and his off-hours activities were free speech.
Michigan attorney general candidate David Leyton issued a statement Wednesday urging his opponent to take action against Shirvell, calling his actions “harassing and stalking.”
Gov. Jennifer Granholm took to Twitter late Thursday afternoon to post a message saying she would fire Shirvell if she was still the Attorney General.
Armstrong, 21, has filed for a personal protection order against Shirvell. In the request for an order of protection, Armstrong said that Shirvell took pictures outside his home at 1:30 a.m. [Protection order request (narrative) here.]
A Facebook page, We Support Chris Armstrong, has more than 11,000 supporters as of Friday evening.
In case you missed Shirvell’s appearance on CNN, here it is — your opinions encouraged…