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University of Michigan law graduates walk out of Senator Rob Portman’s speech

More than 100 law students left Hill Auditorium before homophobic Senator Rob Portman took the podium to speak at the University’s Senior Day. About 60 percent of the graduates wore rainbow buttons or ribbons on their gowns or rainbow tassels on their caps. Portman is criticized by fair-minded students for his voting record.

He has opposed gay adoption in Washington, D.C. and opposes gay marriage. A number of students who took part in the protest said that such views are incompatible with basic, human dignity. It was a silent protest. During Portman’s introduction, about a third of the graduating class filed into the lobby quietly.

Portman, a 1984 alum of the law school, was a six-term congressman before being tapped by President George W. Bush in 2005 to serve as the U.S. Trade Representative and, later, director of the Office of Management and the Budget, both cabinet-level positions. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2010.

[via Ann Arbor Journal]