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CNU Students Petition Opposes McDonnell As Commencement Speaker

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(Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — Christopher Newport University’s selection of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell as its spring commencement speaker is drawing opposition.

An online petition at change.org has drawn more than 400 signatures opposing the Republican’s selection due to his views on gay marriage and abortion. The public university has about 5,000 students, which means the signatures cover about 13% of the student body.

Another petition supporting McDonnell’s selection has drawn several dozen supporters.

McDonnell spokesman Jeff Caldwell says the governor is looking forward to speaking at the university this spring.

Christopher Newport University President Paul Trible said in a statement Thursday that having Virginia’s governor speak at graduation is an honor. Trible notes the school has invited governors with different political views to speak in the past.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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