Jury will hear trial involving gay student, ex-Assistant Attorney General


DETROIT (AP) -

Jury selection is starting in a civil lawsuit against a former state of Michigan lawyer who is accused of stalking and defaming a gay student government president at the University of Michigan.

An attorney for Chris Armstrong says she would drop the case if ex-Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell apologized. Instead, the case is going to trial Tuesday in Detroit federal court.

Shirvell was fired in 2010 after criticizing Armstrong on an anti-gay blog, in Facebook posts and during visits to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He says he has a right to express his belief that Armstrong is a radical activist.

Shirvell now lives in North Babylon, N.Y. He says his statements were true or protected because Armstrong was a public figure.

Armstrong graduated in 2011.

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Special Section: Pride Source Votes
Revealing Bigotry: Taking On Gary Glenn

In a Sept. 27 op-ed in the Detroit News, conservative Republican columnist Nolan Finley raised serious concerns about three Republican candidates running for the state house Nov. 4. Todd Courser of Lapeer, Cindy Gamrat of Plainwell and Gary Glenn of Midland -- all correctly identified by Finley as a "trio (who) seeks tea party tyranny." Nolan describes Glenn and Courser as "extremely anti-gay (who) would turn the Republican Party into a fundamentalist denomination of the Christian Church if given the chance." Finley warned that the trio's narrow views on the Legislature could cripple the government and its ability to work across the aisle to move the state forward. Their agenda also includes killing any expansion of the Elliot-Larsen act to include LGBT protections.

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