The Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Gallaudet University has been placed on paid administrative leave, after allegedly signing a Maryland referendum petition opposing same sex marriage.
Dr. Angela McCaskill became a Deputy to the President and the Associate Provost of Diversity and Inclusion in January 2011.
This afternoon, President Hurwitz released the following statement to students, faculty and staff:
“I want to inform the community that I have placed Dr. Angela McCaskill on paid administrative leave effective immediately. 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. 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.”
As first reported in the blog Planet DeafQueer, “a Gallaudet faculty member, who at this time wishes to remain anonymous, noticed Dr. McCaskill’s name, address and signature on the anti-gay marriage petition (published by the Washington Blade) and inquired about it. When confronted by the faculty member, Dr. McCaskill confirmed that she had in fact signed the petition and explained that she had done so while at church, after her preacher had preached against gay marriage. As she was leaving, her husband pointed to the petition and she signed it without giving it further thought.”
Opponents of gay marriage gathered enough signatures to place Question 6 on Maryland’s ballot in November. Voters will decide whether uphold the Civil Marriage Protection Act passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley. If approved by voters, the law would extend marriage rights to same sex couples in the Free State.