Reporting Pat Warren
WASHINGTON (WJZ)– A Gallaudet University administrator remains on leave for signing the petition to put same-sex marriage on Maryland’s November ballot.
Political reporter Pat Warren reports both sides of the marriage debate continue to call for her reinstatement.
“Her resume and her professional record prove she is uniquely qualified to serve as the university’s chief diversity officer,” a narrator announced on a Gallaudet video posted on YouTube as Dr. Angela McCaskill meets and greets students as a new appointee.
On Wednesday, university president T. Alan Hurwitz placed McCaskill on administrative leave for signing the Maryland Marriage Alliance petition to put same-sex marriage on the November ballot.
“I think that’s a deplorable action that was taken by the university,” Derek McCoy of the Maryland Marriage Alliance said.
Supporters of same-sex marriage, including Gov. Martin O’Malley, are calling for the university to reinstate McCaskill.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality states: “We strongly disagree with the decision to put the chief diversity officer on leave and hope she is reinstated immediately. Dr. McCaskill signed the petition in church after hearing her pastor speak about the issue.”
“She might lose her job for signing a petition to let Marylanders vote on this issue. It’s not right. It’s not fair,” Del. Neil Parrott (R-District 2B) said.
Parrott, chairman of mdpetitions.com, this year introduced a bill to protect voters who sign petitions.
“Unfortunately, in the General Assembly, it was voted down in both committees,” he said. “But hopefully, we’re going to reintroduce that bill. Hopefully, that passes this year. This is just one example of fallout and people need to have freedom to express their views.”
McCaskill’s pastor states: “The unfair treatment of Dr. McCaskill is a warning of what is to come if same-sex marriage becomes law in Maryland. It is a clarion call for Marylanders who value religious liberties and individual rights to vote against Question 6.”
But students at Gallaudet see it in a more personal light.
“Some of the students feel a loss of trust with her, especially within the LGBT community. Not all students have the same feelings but we do feel there needs to be discussion about it,” Stephanie Johnston, a student at Gallaudet, said.
Hurwitz said he is using McCaskill’s time off to determine the appropriate next steps. Meanwhile, he said an interim chief diversity officer will be appointed.
McCaskill’s church is also denouncing the action taken against her. She has not been available for comment.