Former assistant state attorney ordered to pay $4.5M to gay U-M student

Aug 16, 2012

DETROIT (AP) - A jury has awarded a gay University of Michigan student body president $4.5 million in his lawsuit against a former Michigan assistant attorney general who posted about him in an anti-gay blog.

The U.S. District Court jury in Detroit ruled Thursday in favor of Christopher Armstrong. He claims he suffered distress after a blog created by Andrew Shirvell accused him of enticing minors with alcohol and recruiting people to become homosexual.

Armstrong says he's "humbled by what happened" and says it's also a victory "for a lot of other kids out there."

Shirvell says the award was "grossly excessive" for "clearly protected speech ... and activity."

Armstrong accused Shirvell of defamation and emotional distress for his actions on the blog, in Facebook posts and during visits to the Ann Arbor campus.