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University administrator placed on leave for signing Md. marriage petition

Diversity officer allegedly signed anti-gay petition
Washington Blade
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gallaudet University has placed a senior administrator on leave after she reportedly signed a petition against Maryland’s same-sex marriage law.

The school’s president, T. Alan Hurwitz, confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that he has placed Dr. Angela McCaskill, associate provost of diversity and inclusion, on paid administrative leave.

Angela McCaskill
Photo courtesy of Gallaudet University

“It recently came to my attention that Dr. McCaskill has participated in a legislative initiative that some feel is inappropriate for an individual serving as Chief Diversity Officer; however, other individuals feel differently,” he said. “I will use the extended time while she is on administrative leave to determine the appropriate next steps taking into consideration the duties of this position at the university. In the meantime an interim Chief Diversity Officer will be announced in the near future.”

The website PlanetDeafQueer reported that an unidentified Gallaudet faculty member filed a complaint with the university last week after discovering McCaskill had signed the petition that prompted the Nov. 6 referendum on the same-sex marriage law that Gov. Martin O’Malley signed in March.

A database of signatories that the Washington Blade published in July notes that Angela Patrice McCaskill of Upper Marlboro in Prince George’s County signed it.

McCaskill has been in her current position since Jan. 2011. Her official biography says she has worked at Gallaudet for 23 years.

“Dr. McCaskill’s decision to sign the petition does not automatically declare her support for or against same-sex marriage. It merely indicates that she wants to see the decision made by the people and not the legislature. But if her employer is able to restrict her right to engage in the petition-gathering phase of democracy, are they also allowed to enter the voting booth and dictate how she votes?” said Derek McCoy, chair of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, the group opposed to Maryland’s same-sex marriage law, in a statement.

“Unfortunately, this is only the latest in a long list of attacks on individuals who express support for marriage as a union between one man and one woman. If such attacks can be made before same-sex marriage is law, how can homosexual activists in good faith say that religious liberties will not be attacked if Question 6 passes?”

© Washington Blade. Reprinted by permission.

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14 more reader comments:

  1. Guess there is NO Freedom of Opinion at Gallaudet Univ!

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:21pm
  2. … LAWSUIT!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:22pm
  3. Dr. Angela McCaskill is an associate provost of diversity and inclusion yet she votes against having diversity and inclusion? She is not fit to serve the university in her current position.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:29pm
  4. hypocritical.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:31pm
  5. - Well, considering her job title, it could well be argued that she violates the expectations of her post if she takes any stand against the actual civic rights or dignity of a demographic represented /within/ the school’s diversity. She is implicitly not supposed to play favourites or act against particular groups in any way that may have a real impact upon the student/staff population, because that would falsify her official position. Simple enough, actually, and more ethical than what I hear of from conservative institutions. Were her post one of lesser scope, the University would have less standing to suspend her on the basis of her off-campus speech or activities – but it isn’t. She has to be fair to all the people she represents.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:39pm
  6. What a racist bitch.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:41pm
  7. I don’t see why she can’t say what she wants… WE certainly have!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:46pm
  8. it’s nice to see the table turned for. a.change.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 6:53pm
  9. She signed a petition for a referendum. No more, no less.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 7:00pm
  10. This is illegal! She should sue!

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 7:28pm
  11. Well said, Kagen! She not only violated a trust, she placed the University in a precarious situation. Do they keep her and send the message to the LGBT community at Gallaudet, which is, by the way very large and very active, that they are not valued and protected? Or do they let her go and get the backlash for the people who erroneously think that this is a Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Religion issue? She should step down and salvage whatever dignity she can. What she should have done if she wanted to vote her conscience was just wait until the election and vote in secrecy. The petition signatures are a matter of public record. This was a HUGE error in judgment on her part and a major betrayal to the people who trust her to have their back.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 7:42pm
  12. Ralph, this has nothing to do with race. It’s about equality. Something, as the provost, she’s suppose to support! Inclusion is about all people, not just a matter of race. She’s being PAID to fight discrimination and support minorities.

    Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 8:06pm
  13. when are we going to learn? what will it take? I am at a loss….

    Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 1:32am
  14. i agree Matt, very well said.

    Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 6:52am