UC Berkeley students trying to halt Bill Maher's commencement speech

Frank Micelotta/Invision for the Television Academy/AP ImagesBill Maher speaks on stage at the 2014 Television Academy Hall of Fame on Tuesday

UC Berkeley's commencement ceremony is a pretty prestigious affair, and a group of students is determined to keep smirky bigot Bill Maher out of it.

A petition on Change.org, which had reached 3,100 signatures Tuesday evening, cited Maher's “hate speech” against Muslims and just about everybody else in its effort to stop the comedian from speaking at its December graduation ceremony.</p>

The petition includes lowlights from the “Real Time” host, including, “Islam is the only religion that acts like the Mafia that will f—ing kill you if you say the wrong thing.”

The comedian, who reportedly contacted the university and asked to deliver the commencement address, has also turned his laser wit to women: “Feminine values are now the values of America, sensitivity is more important than truth, feelings are more important [than] facts.”

Don't forget kids with special needs: “I've often said that if I had — I have two dogs — if I had two retarded children, I'd be a hero. …. They're kind, but they don't mentally advance at all. … Dogs are like retarded children.”

UC Berkeley officials had no comment Tuesday, but others have spoken out against Maher's appearance.

UC system student regent Sadia Saifuddinm who is Muslim, gave a statement to the Los Angeles Times: “I believe there is a fundamental difference between free speech and hate speech, as well as a difference between Maher being allowed to express his views, and being given the honor of giving the keynote address sponsored by the university.”

RIVERS' DAUGHTER SET TO SUE

Joan Rivers' daughter is set to file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit in the legendary comedian's death, Us Weekly says.

Melissa Rivers lawyered up Tuesday and intends to file a wrongful-death lawsuit against the clinic where Rivers stopped breathing during a routine throat procedure in August.

Ben Rubinowitz of Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz, which is apparently a real law firm and not a mid-1970s jam band, said the firm will “fully determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Joan Rivers.”

QUICK TAKES

Jailed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega's lawsuit against Activision has been dismissed; the ex-despot claimed the video game company wrongly used his image in “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” and made him look bad. …. “House of Cards” actress Elizabeth Norment, 61, died at a cancer center earlier this month, her family said Tuesday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Actress Gabrielle Union (“Bring It On”) is 41. … Actress Winona Ryder (“Heathers”) is 43. … Actor Dan Castellaneta (“The Simpsons”) is 57. … Actress Kate Jackson (“Charlie's Angels”) is 66.

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email scoop@sfexaminer.com.

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