Back when it was announced that Senator Rob Portman, a Michigan law alum, would be giving the speech at this year's graduation, there was plenty of outcry and concern over Portman's decidedly long and fervent anti-gay rights voting record.
One graduate organized a protest to walk out of the ceremony when Portman's speech began. Last Saturday, he did just that. 100 of his classmates joined him in support.
As families and friends entered Hill Auditorium they were handed a pamphlet explaining how this year's Senior Day ceremony would be a little bit different than normal. The pamphlet explained the students' plans to walk out during Senator Rob Portman's commencement address.
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.
Portman came under fire 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.
Video of some interviews with students below.