Friday, April 22, 2011

I graduated from the University of Michigan 25 years ago. The students had asked the administration to give an honorary degree to Nelson Mandella. The university refused, stating that because he was incarcerated in a prison in South Africa, and could not attend the graduation ceremony, he was ineligible to receive one of those fancy pieces of paper. The old white folks on the Board of Regents had previously refused to divest university funds from companies doing business in South Africa. The students had held numerous protests about this, and I suppose refusing to give Mandella a degree was a pathetic slap at the students by those old white folks. So the Secretary General of the UN got the fancy piece of paper and gave a speech, which I missed because I got totally fucked up on champagne on the way to the stadium because I had no clue what I was going to do after graduating (7 bottles divided by 5 graduates equals a messed up Homer). That is another story.

Anyhows, flash forward to the next century in 2011, the law dean at the University of Michigan invites former Senator Rob Portman to speak. Rob Portman has voted yes on the Marriage Protection Amendment and yes to ban gays or lesbians from adopting children in Washington, DC. Portman and I actually overlapped at the University- he graduated from the law school in 1984- but I did not know him (at that time I was a nerdy, closest case and he was probably a conservative asshole).

The dean of the law school, Evan Caminker, sent an email out to the students "The Law School remains steadfast in its commitment to create a supportive environment for our LGBT community, and also to create an educational environment in which diverse viewpoints can be represented. Anything less would undermine the Law School’s core values."

So typical, a white, straight, rich man, who has never faced discrimination, basically telling the LGBT law students to shut the fuck up and stop whining. I hope next year Caminker invites the head of the KKK to speak at graduation so that the law students can hear the "diverse viewpoints" espoused by that gentleman.

I sent Caminker an email telling him that until people stop honoring homophobes with fancy pieces of paper, the homophobes will see no reason to stop their hateful behavior. I doubt Caminker really understands how insulting it it to the LGBT law students graduating that day to have some piece of shit, who has voted against equal civil rights, to blather about how great America is, unless you are a queer.

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