Gallaudet University's embattled chief diversity officer said she wasn't taking an anti-gay stance when she signed a petition advocating for Maryland's same-sex marriage law to be put to a vote.
Instead, Angela McCaskill says she was joining 200,000 others in standing up for the rights of voters to make decisions at the ballot box.Oh?
"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," McCaskill explained at a news conference Tuesday in Annapolis, Md., speaking out for the first time since the university's president placed her on administrative leave last week after it became public that she had signed the petition.You can be disciplined for that?
Hurwitz clarified his actions in a statement released Tuesday morning. He wrote that McCaskill is welcome to return to her job but doing so will require "that she and the University community work together to respond to the concerns that have been raised."Ahhh, the taking of offence - the new sport!
McCaskill, 54, was the first deaf African American woman to earn a doctorate at Gallaudet, a university for the deaf and hard of hearing in the District of Columbia. She has worked at Gallaudet for more than 24 years and was named top diversity official last year.And how did she go about her task?
McCaskill said she rearranged her budget to find money to open a resource center on campus for sexual minorities, hired an openly transgender employee and hosted many events centered around discussing lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender issues.And…how much of any of that did you put to a vote?
I mean, since you are so keen on it, surely you must have done..?
This summer, McCaskill and her husband attended Reid Temple AME church and heard a sermon about "different types of marriage," then signed the petition there, Gordon said. That petition was obtained and made public by the Washington Blade. A faculty member saw McCaskill's name on the petition and confronted her in early October, Gordon said. McCaskill confirmed that she had signed the petition, alerted the Gallaudet president that it could become an issue and offered to organize a panel discussion to address the topic, Gordon said.
The next day, the faculty member and her partner filed a formal complaint with the president, he said. Gordon said that McCaskill was asked to issue an apology and that she declined to do so. Days later, McCaskill was notified by e-mail that she would be placed on paid leave and that an interim chief diversity officer would take over, Gordon said.
The action was announced publicly Oct. 10.And McCaskill is shocked, shocked, to find that the tactics she has no doubt encouraged and used can be turned on her, just as easily...
"I was shocked, hurt, insulted. I was humiliated," McCaskill said at the news conference, with the assistance of an interpreter.
"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."Gosh. I can't really feel anything other than schadenfreude and a feeling that what goes around, come around...