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University Of Michigan Graduates WALK OUT During Anti-Gay Senator's Commencement Speech

| Filed under: Gay Gay GayPolitikInspirationYouTubeLGBT

BRAVO! This is so awesomely inspirational!

Over 100 graduating University of Michigan law students walked out during a commencement speech given by Ohio Senator Rob Portman because of his anti-gay views.

In 1999, the senator supported a bill that sought to ban gay and lesbian couples perfectly suitable parents in the District of Columbia from adopting children. Despicable!

THEN in 2004 he voted in favor of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Deplorable!

Guests attending the ceremony were handed a pamphlet explaining the protest the students had planned, which included a letter previously sent to the school's administration to protest Senator Portman's presence, reading:

"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."

Unfortunately, the university still allowed him to speak at the ceremony, but at least the student's voices were heard and Senator Portman got the message LOUD and CLEAR.

This ignorant bigotry toward sexual preference should NOT be tolerated and we're happy to see America's youth taking steps to END the discrimination.

If this was a glimpse of America's future, we like what we see!

Check out the video above to hear about the protest directly from the students involved.

Would U have joined these graduates and walked out on the anti-gay senator during his speech?

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80 comments to “University Of Michigan Graduates WALK OUT During Anti-Gay Senator's Commencement Speech”

  1. 1

    Not everyone embraces the flamboyant gayness that you are, Mario. You need to deal with it.

  2. 2

    nice :) , i cant wait to be equal, so i can marry my man!! and that choice crap is bull, do straight people choose to be straight? hell no !! you are what you are, its just so odd why politics are so scared of same sex marriage, if your not gay, you shouldnt care like i never cared about man and women getting married. thanks perez keep spreading the good news, and haters get off his site if you dont like his flamboyant ways.

  3. yvo84 says – reply to this


    Well clearly, StinkyGoddess, not everyone embraces the bigoted lifestyle that you lead — as this video proves.

  4. 4

    Good for them!

  5. 5

    100 over how many graduates? curious

  6. 6

    Fantastic! Makes me very proud and hopeful for the youth of america

  7. 7

    Bravo future lawyers! I really expected better from Michigan.

  8. tcoo says – reply to this


    While the school may not always bend to the students' will, the students are always heard in some form. It is the Michigan difference.

    Once again, I am proud to be a Michigan alumna.

  9. 9

    Yeh, now get a job!

  10. 10

    Re: yvo84 – No..Some people enjoy a decadent lifestyle full of anonymous sex, drugs, non stop partying and std's…aka most of the gay community. I'm all for them having equal rights but spare playing the bigoted card..its getting beyond old…

  11. 11

    I am not a supporter of his views, but there's nothing progressive about walking out on someone whose views you don't agree with — it's childish and immature. These are law students? Good luck walking away from people you don't agree with in the real world, little kids.

  12. 12

    Re: jerkstore – good one. bigotry is a two-way street.

  13. 13

    yes! so cool. my parents, both hippies who fought for civil rights, had this kind of passion and spirit, and they stood up against what they knew to be wrong, no matter how it made them look. and it makes me sad that we dont have it as youths today. but seeing this video makes me think that maybe we are starting to come around.

  14. 14

    Re: Shaniqua Jones – Suck my gay dick

  15. 15

    The students had the right to not listen but the senator has the right to have his opinions as well. Keep in mind Mario, he WAS voted into office.

  16. 16

    Re: GayRay – Shouldn't you be asking a guy to do this?

  17. 17

    how does walking out on the guy make them any beter than him. they are intolerant to his views the same as he is to theirs. just because he voted on bills 7yrs ago, he was using his democratic privilage. i feel everyone reguarding age/sex/colour/sexual orientation should all have the same oppertunities. but if someone else disagrees with me i dont feel that i should spit in their face (even metorphorically) they are supposed to be lawyers, some of them will defend murderers and peadofiles even though they are guilty, get lindsey lohans of the future out of jail. they could suck up a speach from some dude they dont like.

  18. 18

    It would mean a lot more if they held everyone to the same standard. Your beloved dear leader Pres. Obama shares the EXACT SAME VIEW and yet no one walks out on him. Either u call everyone out on an issue or please shut the fuck up. Sanctimonious little pricks!

  19. 19

    Re: Shaniqua Jones – Hahaha, really? That's 'most of the gay community' according to you? You don't know many, do you? When I read 'decadent lifestyle full of anonymous sex, drugs, non stop partying and std's' I automatically think of people like Charlie Sheen, old Robert Downey Jr, old Russell Brand, Tommy Lee (and other rockers) and Gerard Butler, all very much straight.

  20. 20

    Re: Shaniqua Jones – Um, you're also forgetting the fraternity and sorority community as well. Then, you are also forgetting the spoiled rich kids from elite families. Oh, don't forget about the lower class people too who don't know any better. Wait, don't forget about the middle class people who know better but still continue to do it. I think that makes up about 97% of the U.S. population. Therefore, the fact that you seem to target the LGBT community and "forget" about the rest of the population makes you an idiot.

  21. 21

    Deplorable? While I don't agree with the jerk and I think it's pretty great what the students did- GET A THESAURUS PEREZ!!!!!! Jeez, everything is deplorable with you.

  22. 22

    This post drips with ignorance. It is about basic human rights. Period!

  23. 23

    You walk out on a movie, not your graduation. These kids allowed this man to take away "their" day. In life, you can't do that. Sometimes you just have to suck up the differences and move on. If it's a cause you believe in, then fight for it, but don't sacrifice what you have worked hard for, there's other ways.

  24. 24

    If Republicans want to stay relevent they better drop the wedge issues. Young people want to hear about getting help paying their tuition and job creation-not the constant attack on gays and womens heath. etc. To young people gay equality is simply a non issue as it should be for everyone.

  25. 25

    Re: patcee – Your parents are the people who started the disease known as Liberalism in this country. That is nothing to be proud of.

  26. 26

  27. 27

    What a bunch of bs. They leave cause someone insults homosexuals? Weak dude. the gays will always be persecuted, cause they are not like everyone else. Tnd the senator is kind of right, gays are kind of bad. Gving wrong ideas to kids. But this will always happan. Mre people dont want the homosexuals to have civil rights. Tis is the way it is and will always be. S stop bitching and protesting and just deal with it.

  28. 28

  29. 29

    Re: andypandy1 – "how does walking out on the guy make them any beter than him. they are intolerant to his views the same as he is to theirs." STRONGLY AGREE!!

    If you want me to be tolerant of you and your lifestyle then you ABSOLUTELY MUST ACCEPT that I may have different opinions. If you are entitled to your opinion, then so am I, even if it is different.

  30. 30

    Why walk out? That proves they are as unwilling to listen and talk about the issue as the Senator is! Nothing will get resolved by turning their backs, they should've have used the opportunity to educate! Silly people.

  31. 31

    why does the university of michigan have to get an ohio senator to speak at their graduation. what's so special about this guy. they couldn't find a michigan senator to speak.
    he's allowed to his views, that many of us find to because close-minded and anti-humanistic, and so are the students to express theirs.
    seems like a typical religious righty that has to worry about other peoples business. $100 he's totally closeted and fighting it like so many of those out spoken against gay marriage.
    who can begin to care if gay people want to marry, so why not let them.

  32. 32

    I was there. It was tastefully done. What they don't mention is how the students came back in when he was done, so no one "missed out" on their graduation. Also, the Dean stopped talking awkwardly when everyone walked out, and everyone applauded the students leaving. Furthermore, a student who spoke after the Republican Senator brought up the issue, saying "I'm wearing this rainbow pin to show my support for my LGBT classmates. This isn't worn in protest, it is worn to show support for a group of people who are still living without equal rights in this country." People were applauding him so much he could barely finish.

    All in all it was an amazing show of support for the gay community. It moved me in ways I can't describe.

  33. 33

    Re: Shaniqua Jones – really? Bigotry is old now, huh? So I guess you don't mind if I call you a stupid n*gger? That's fine with you?

    Don't be a fucking hypocrite.

  34. 34

    although i don't agree with walking out on a person, despite that he is a bigot and has nothing substantial to pass onto already enlightened students, they have the right to their special day. If i'm graduating and trying to enjoy a good moment, the last thing i would want is hearing a speech from someone so hateful. so good for them. he may have the right to free speech, but they have the right to not listen. people shouldn't read to much into them walking out.

  35. 35

    Are you ever going to stop saying sexual preference?? Preference implies choice. Even those people who are bisexual don't have a choice but to be bisexual. We don't prefer to be who we are, we are born this way. The correct word is sexual orientation!!

  36. 36

    Re: GayRay – no thanks..you more than likely have AIDS!

  37. 37

    Re: Henwii – you poor abused child…what happened in your childhood to make your so angry….therapy darling….need therapy

  38. 38

    Despite all the agendas, I hate to say it, but homosexuality will never be fully accepted. People are entitled to their opinions regardless of how much we disagree. I mean the KKK can still assemble peacefully… so what do you really expect? The more you force the issue the worse the backlash is unfortunatly.

  39. 39

    Re: Scott Allan – Why would the Dean applaud the students leaving, I am pretty sure the Dean plays a part in who is allowed to give speaches. So why would approve this man to speak if he really just wanted people to walk out and applaud them for basically being rude and disrespectful. Good luck winning a law case if all they are gonna do is walk out when they don't agree with something.

  40. 40

    Re: StinkyGoddess – You are a waste of life.

  41. 41

    Re: MsJules – You are wrong, dear. The more hate is confronted the more likely it is to stop.

  42. 42

    Thank you, Scott Allan, for setting the record straight (or gay; no pun intended ;) ). And to those who believe that it would have been better for the students to sit through the senator's speech with clenched fists and teeth: Shame on you! Do you mean to tell us supporters that we should all be imbibing everything that is unpleasant? Suck it up and do nothing? Nothing was ever accomplished by those who just sat around on their asses all day. Those students who walked out during the Senator's speech made a non-verbal statement that was heard and seen throughout the country.

    Intolerance in the U.S. is unacceptable, no matter what one's opinions may be. We are so much bigger and better than the hateful rants of a few religious zealots.

  43. 43

    Boehner is the speaker for graduation at Ohio State next month. Wonder what that's gonna be like lol.

  44. 44

    Love it! This video makes me so proud to be from Michigan! I applaud those brave young adults for taking a stance. We have some great future leaders out there!!!

  45. 45

    Re: Mother B – I am going to have to respectfully disagree. Hate is confronted all the time, but that is not what is going to stop it. Hate breeds hate and as long as you still have people who "hate" (be it racists, sexists, homophobes etc) hate will continue to breed. Hate is taught by parents, by religions, by political parties- it is all around you. So whether or not it is confronted on a small scale, that will hardly put a dent in the "hate" for things people don't agree with or understand. And youd be surprised at how much closeted hate goes around… Confroting it, is not going to put an end to it. Education is.

  46. 46

    I love how everyone missed the girl at the beginning of the video saying Fuck That!!

  47. 47

    Re: andypandy1
    My sister graduated from U of M Saturday and participated in the walk out. She is engaged to another woman and many other people in her class are gay and lesbian. They are intolerant of his views and vote that infringe on their rights as human beings. They had met with the dean previously to try to have the speaker changed and when it wasn't they decided to not support views that are hateful and go against freedom that straight Americans enjoy, even though the divorce rate is 50% and there is obviously something wrong with the way we view the institute of marriage. I'm proud that she participated in the walk out and stood up for her beliefs on an issue that means so much to her. The government should have absolutely no say in gay marriage or gay adoption.

  48. 48

    It's a free country, he can believe and vote on whatever he wants.

  49. 49

    Re: MsJules
    Completly missed the point. This is one of the country's top law schools, so none of them need "luck" to win their cases. My sister graduated satruday and is a lesibian, as someone else said this all comes down to a basic human rights issue. It's unbelievable that in 2011, the United States of America, the beacon of freedom and democracy still denies an entire group of people the right to marry because of religious right groups that should not be involved in government decisions. Also why won't it be accepted, is it also because of people's religion and conservative beliefs, Christianity is about following the lessons of Jesus, who never spoke against homosexuality, Jesus spoke about acceptance, love, forgiveness, and being non-judgmental. If you want to take things from the Bible, then people who are divorced should also not be married, and hopefully you aren't engaging or have engaged in premarital sex. Remember sin is sin, no matter what, all of it is equal in God's eyes.

  50. 50

    Re: scrambles the death dealer
    what an amazingly ignorant and hateful way to think. "Gays" are the same as "Straights", they want familys, a partner, success, a happy life. They aren't "kind of bad" because they were born with a different sexual orientation. I strongly believe that the way things are at the present time are not the way it's always going to be. Most young people and friends I know have absolutely no problem with gay people, most people in the world believe in basic human rights. How would you feel if someone decided that since almost half of straight marriage end in divorce, marriage will no longer be allowed. You are an ignorant person.

  51. 51

    Re: TheDonkeyWhisperer
    I completely agree, that's what American is all about, being able to voice your disagreement and protest peacefully, as they did. This is an issue about human rights, those of you who are not able to see that need to further educate yourselves and learn to become more gracious, accepting, non-judgmental people.

  52. 52

    Re: tina1986 – Oh my.. I am not even going to really put effort into responding to you because you clearly are the one who missed the point in everything I had to say,…. and you cannot spell- you are going off on a tangent about religion etc- all of which I didn't discuss- I was just simply talking about peoples difference of opinions and NOR did i say I didn't agree with homosexuality, I just said that it was rude for them to walk out all because he had a different political stance on the issue. Please do not respond, as clearly it will not even make a difference.

  53. 53

    Re: Cupcake Lady
    Your entitled to your opinon, but your not entitled to deny me my rights. You can't have an opinion on who I love, or who I want to marry. How are you so stupid that you can't understand that? I can say I don't approve of your marriage but I can't go to the polls and vote on it. So think again before you speak about my alma mater and the brave students that walked out in protest.

  54. 54

    Gay people are emotionally retarded but some of them are nice. They can't help it if they were born mutants. lol

  55. 55

    Re: MsJules
    The reason I responded in the way I did is because I have a personal tie to this. My sister is the same as everyone else in this country and deserves the same rights. Hate may breed hate, but they were not being hateful, they were voicing their opinions, they tried to change this situation in a private way by meeting with the dean to have the speaker changed, when it was not changed and since it was an issue many of them felt strongly about they decided they were not going to listen to someone who has voiced the opinions and cast the votes that the senator has.

    I can spell, but at times I type too fast and don't always proof read when posting comments. But I'm sure you never make those mistakes.

  56. 56

    Cry babies. I sat through a presentation by Chris Matthews that was given in a non-political forum. Chris proceeded to insult most members of the audience who were from the South, generalizing them as backwards and racist. (A third of the audience were black.) He went on to bash the Republican party. I'm not from the South nor Republican. The point is, not one member of the audience walked out on Hardball Matthews. Manners, people. Manners.

  57. 57

    Last Year, President Obama spoke to the University of Michigan. He criticized “poisonous” rhetoric and advised students to sample opinions of both left and right. President Obama also opposes same-sex marriage along with the majority of Americans.
    There are no reports of mass walk-outs during President Obama’s speech last year.

  58. 58

    Re: Scott Allan – Listen you little twerp…you can call me anything you like, I believe in freedom of speech. However, there is a price to pay for that..You call me whats so clearly in your tiny mind and I will ebat ur pansy ass to the ground no questions ask…So by all means say those words, but be prepared for the consequences. Ya'll talk trash on the net, but ain't a peep outta your nelly mouth in real life so please..be a keyboard warrior.

    The problem here is that anyone who does not succumb to the gay lifestyle is labelled a bigot…which is bullshit. People have their religious beliefs yet no one gives a fuck about disrespecting those…so who is the hypocrite now?

    Stupid little fucker…I could care either way..I been to more Gay Bars than you had dicks up ur ass. Then again, thats probably not that many cos u are nota cute gay.

  59. @v@ says – reply to this


    When the professional politicians start to see the writing on the wall, they'll turn into bandwagon jumpers if the poll numbers tell them to. This is another sign of the tide amongst today's youth.

  60. @v@ says – reply to this


    Re: MsJules – Yes, it does become accepted after a few years. Ever live in a country where the laws changed? I did. A decade or two is all it takes. It becomes accepted about as much as the gays accept living beside those that exercise a straight lifestyle. Older generational people begrudgingly tolerate it. Many don't like it, but respect the new laws. When those generations die, no one will understand or believe the old intolerance.

  61. @v@ says – reply to this


    Re: MsJules – No one accepted women or blacks voting, or riding in the front of the bus in the late 50's and early 60's, either.

  62. 62

    Btw, I love gay guys…I enjoy goin to gay bars and hangin out with gay people..But I notice anyone that does not agree with their agenda 100% gets beaten down like a ton of bricks.

    And yes we can only judge by our own personal experiences and I have not witnessed many guys wanting to commit to a relationship let alone be married!

    But by all means if even only a few gay couples wanna get married then they should be allowed to do that. I just wouldn't be expecting many guys rushin to tha altar if it finally becomes legal…

  63. 63

    Re: @v@ – I wanted to write something like that…applause!

  64. 64

    Re: Moogle80 – So you're picking a few tired old rockstars to prove a point? hmm..well lets see, what about George Michael..a known drug addict and horrendously promiscuous…arrested for cruising in a public toilet…Boy george..another drug addict and arrested for kidnapping a HIV + rent boy….Rupert Everet…another Bed Hopper…Tom Ford…had more pricks than a porcupine…Yeah, all great Role Models for the gay youth not!

    Lets not pretend that promiscuity and the hedonistic lifestyle are not greater in the gay world than the str8 cos they are. You may not like that or wanna believe it but its the truth.

  65. 65

    Re: poodlewithamohawk – Seems as if at that event not many were with you. For if they were y'all would have walked out too.

  66. 66

    Re: MissJosette – Not true. There was lots of booing, which admittedly, was poor manners. The Southerners, regardless of color, were offended. I spent the next 3 days with 3,000 of them. BTW, I'm Quadroon and in the US by way of Scotland and Canada. No racial profiling please. We don't like it.

  67. 67

    Re: MissJosette – Well there is a distinction here. If you cannot see that, oh well. And obviously you have not been paying attention to president Obama's words/policies regarding LGBT matters. Duck! It's flying over your head!

  68. 68

    My BAD Obviously ^^ meant for Re: poodlewithamohawk – Who is for some reason (defensively) concerned with "racial profiling" by my response ?

  69. 69

    Was he talking bad about gay people during his speech? If he wasn't it's rude for people to just walk out during his speech simply because they don't have the same views as him.

  70. 70

    Re: MissJosette – Dorothy, if you think that Obama has been addressing LGBT concerns, you've been sniffing too many poppies. The dude is heading straight towards the middle for the 2012 election. BTW, thanks for the duck. Tasty.

  71. 71

    Re: tina1986 – you misread my comment.. I was not saying that the students were the ones breeding hate.. I meant anyone in general who hates anything (IE homophobes or racists) in a generic sense, not relating at all to this specific topic. Someone had said that putting it in peoples face will make them want to accept it and I was simply pointing out that as long as people continue to teach hate to their children it will be a problem. I think you read my comments in a literal sense pertaining to the story, when I actually was just talking about the issue of hate on a broader level. I am all for tolerance and excepting people, I was just sayin that the best step at combating hate is education, especially for the children.

  72. 72

    Re: @v@ – I know what you are saying, and you are on the same path as I am, and you are correct in saying that as generations die out (as awful as that is to say) tolerance does go up, but there are still those cases especially in the south where the generations pass down the hate- sure its not as extreme as it use to be, but it's still apparent. Maybe i've just come across a lot of closeted homophobes and racists =/

  73. 73

    Re: Shaniqua Jones – No one ever "succumbs" to a homosexual lifestyle, Shaniqua… Good god, what shit pile did you crawl out of?? It's been said over and OVER AND OVER again: people DO NOT CHOOSE their sexual orientations! It's been proven in multiple PEER-REVIEWED (meaning that there are MULTIPLE highly regarded educational sources checking up on the validity of the articles and research done) medical and research journals that one is either BORN straight or gay. I'm straight, and I have no desire to have sex with a female, and I'm pretty positive that there are hundreds of thousands of other straight individuals who feel the same way. Are we "succumbing" to any sort of homosexual lifestyle? I seriously think not.

  74. 74

    Re: Shaniqua Jones – Also, there is PLENTY of evidence that shows that the most sexually promiscuous group is straight people… Wanna know why? BECAUSE THERE'S A HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF STRAIGHT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, DUMBASS. And what about the (mis)perception that all black people are crime-ridden rap and hip hop lovers who have tons of illegitimate children that they can't afford to care for and go on welfare because of their immature decisions; who don't go to college; who work at fast food restaurants; who accept male chauvinism as a part of their cultural identity; and who are drug addicts/dealers and rapists? What if I told you that the American population is "succumbing" to the detritus that is the African American in the U.S.? Do you realize how ridiculous your rationale is?

    Where the hell did you get your backwards, podunk, inbred way of thinking?? Please, just shut the FUCK up and let the intelligent, EDUCATED AND TOLERANT people talk. Gay people are here, they're queer, GET THE FUCK USED TO IT.

  75. 75

    Re: Shaniqua Jones – Just because there are a few people who happen to be promiscuous (gay or not) does NOT mean that the majority must follow suit. In the same manner, not all black people are as I described in the example from the previous post. I acknowledge this, and I do not make irrational and unfounded assumptions the way you do. "Correlation does not equal causation." Read a fucking book.

  76. 76

    Re: TheDonkeyWhisperer – Isn't Shaniqua a hoot!

  77. 77

    Re: Moogle80 – The sad thing is that there are tons of ill-informed, ignorant individuals out there who have the same misconceptions about… Well, about this specific topic, as well as anything and everything! She and people like her might as well be saying that the Earth is flat, McDonald's is gourmet dining, and pulling out has the same efficacy as the pill! Someone seriously needs to help her loosen her weave and stuff a little knowledge in that gaping hole where her brain should be…

  78. 78

    Re: TheDonkeyWhisperer – I know what you mean and also understand your frustration, but it's not worth getting frustrated over. You 'meet' all kinds of people on messageboards like these, some you can agree with, others make you want to pull your hair out. Thing is, there's little you can do from behind a computer to change anything about it or them, so go easy on the hair ;)

  79. 79

    Re: Moogle80 – Words of wisdom. :)

  80. 80

    Re: StinkyGoddess – Attitude doesn't need to be condoned, but their rights should be equal to the rest of our rights.