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CNU taps McDonnell for graduation, drawing protest

Thursday - 2/23/2012, 11:45am  ET

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Christopher Newport University's selection of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell as its spring commencement speaker is drawing opposition.

An online petition at 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.

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.

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