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Gallaudet Chief Diversity Officer Seeking Compensation After Gay Marriage Petitition Flack

Dr. Angela McCaskill is seeking compensation to return to her post at Gallaudet University after the school for the deaf’s president put her on administrative leave last week for signing a petition challenging Maryland’s same-sex marriage law at her church.

“I am dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance, a university that manages by intimidation, a university that allows bullying among faculty, staff and students,” Dr. McCaskill said at a press conference Tuesday, with the assistance of an interpreter. McCaskill added that she was not anti-gay, but rather “pro-democracy.”

“I thought it was important that as a citizen of the state of Maryland I could exercise my right to participate in the political process. I am pro-democracy.”

This summer, McCaskill and her husband signed a petition calling for Maryland’s same-sex marriage law to be put to a voter referendum. A fellow faculty member who had noticed McCaskill’s name on the petition confronted the Chief Diversity Officer then reported her to university president, T. Alan Hurwitz. After Dr. McCaskill refused to issue an apology, Hurwitz put her on administrative leave.

Hurwitz’s decision was subsequently criticized by both marriage equality opponents and proponents, though he attempted to clarify his position with a statement yesterday morning:

As many know, Dr. McCaskill exercised her right to sign a petition concerning legislation on gay marriage. Because of her position at Gallaudet as our Chief Diversity Officer, many individuals at our university were understandably concerned and confused by her action. They wanted to know ‘does that action interfere with her ability to perform her job?’

I placed her on paid administrative leave as a prudent action to allow the university — and Dr. McCaskill – the time to consider this question after the emotions of first reactions subsided. While this has become an issue beyond our campus, as President of Gallaudet University, my number one concern is our university community – our students, faculty and staff and so many others who support us. I act on their behalf, not with any agenda other than their well-being as all of us work to prepare these university students for the future. While I expect that a resolution of this matter can be reached that will enable Dr. McCaskill to continue as our Chief Diversity Officer, this will require that she and the University community work together to respond to the concerns that have been raised.

Hurwitz also emphasized Gallaudet’s desire to resolve this matter and return Dr. McCaskill to her post as Chief Diversity Office. But it might cost them. McCaskill’s attorney said that her return hinges on the university compensating her for the emotional distress she’s endured, as well as the damage to her reputation.

Dr. McCaskill has never publicly stated her stance on gay marriage and maintains that she supports all students, regardless of sexual orientation. During her 24 years at Gallaudet, McCaskill said she opened a campus resource center for sexual minorities, hired an openly transgender employee and hosted events centered on LGBT issues. A student at Gallaudet had previously called the CDO “a great ally to the LGBT community.”

Photo: Gallaudet University

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Oct 17, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , ,

  • 12 Comments
    • Caleb in SC
      Caleb in SC

      This is so typical of the hate mongers on the far right. They victimize, then claim they are the victim. They preach intolerance, but claim to be exercising their First Amendment rights while ignoring the rights of others. This woman deserves nothing. She is lucky she still has her job.

      Oct 17, 2012 at 7:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE
      MikeE

      yes, she’s lucky that black rights were never put to a vote, but were legislated into being.

      had HER rights been put to a vote when it was time, she wouldn’t HAVE those rights.

      her cheap “democracy” excuse is pure bullsh**.

      she’s a homophobe and is looking to weasel her way out of it.

      Oct 17, 2012 at 8:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric Auerbach
      Eric Auerbach

      Whatever. If an employee at Oral Roberts or Liberty or Brigham Young University had signed a pro-gay-marriage petition, they’d probably lose their jobs.

      Also, if this bitch’s job is Chief Diversity Officer, could she make her bigotry a little less obvious?

      Oct 17, 2012 at 8:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      What a vile bitch. Hopefully her bigotry will cost her any future employment helping people as she is not capable of doing so.

      Oct 17, 2012 at 8:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tardis
      tardis

      I think it’s hilarious and absolutely preposterous when opponents of equality flip the intolerance argument to fit their small minded world view. Give me a break. And, she’s a Chief Diversity Officer, doesn’t she have to be well versed in diversity to qualify for her job? “I’m a Chief Diversity Officer, but at night I attend KKK meetings.” Are you really that vapid?

      See, one of the interesting things that this particular situation highlights is how people view gays and equality and how nonchalant people view it. We see it as discrimination, they see it as something unworthy of attention.

      Lady, you’re in desperate need of a clue.

      Oct 17, 2012 at 9:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LaTeesha
      LaTeesha

      She’s entitled to her political views. Just as the rest of the campus is entitled to recognize her as being a whack-a-doodle which they should tell (sign) her often.

      Oct 17, 2012 at 11:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marc sfe
      marc sfe

      Pro democracy my ass!! If she truly were, she’d support equal marriage – lying piece of cow dung…….

      Oct 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MK Ultra
      MK Ultra

      I was willing to cut her some slack until she wrapped herself in that flag and threw herself up there on that cross. If she loves “democracy” so much, have the school vote on whether they should keep her or not.

      Oct 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GregC
      GregC

      The appeal to democracy sounds like someone shifting blame and trying to talk her way out of tight spot. The notion that my civil rights ought be subjected to popular election is patently offensive. That she didn’t anticipate the ramifications of her having signed the petition speakers to her lack of qualification for the job of chief diversity officer.

      Oct 17, 2012 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cyn
      Cyn

      @LaTeesha: Laughing here, ASL was my language in college and I am trying to envision the sigh, “Wack – a – doodle.”

      To be honest, I’m really torn on this one. If she’s not teaching against curriculum, why can’t she sign some stupid bigoted paper at her church? I do recognize the irony, but is not the freedom to be an ignorant bigot guaranteed by the constitution, just like being free and equal is?

      Oct 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cyn
      Cyn

      @LaTeesha: Laughing here, ASL was my language in college and I am trying to envision the sigh, “Wack-a-doodle.”

      To be honest, I’m really torn on this one. If she’s not teaching against curriculum, why can’t she sign some stupid bigoted paper at her church? I do recognize the irony, but is not the freedom to be an ignorant bigot guaranteed by the constitution, just like being free and equal is?

      Oct 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aidan8
      Aidan8

      @Cyn: I support her right to free expression, exercise of religion, etc. However, her actions at least call into question her qualification to be the “Chief Diversity Officer” of a university.

      Oct 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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