Gallaudet University Reinstates Diversity Officer Placed on Leave for Signing Petition to Put Marriage Equality on the Ballot

Angela McCaskill, the Gallaudet University associate provost of diversity and inclusion who was placed on leave in October after it was revealed that she signed a petition to put Maryland's marriage equality law on the ballot (Question 6), and subsequently appeared in an ad from the anti-gay Maryland Marriage Alliance opposing Question 6, has been reinstated by the university, the AP reports:

Angela_mccaskillUniversity president T. Alan Hurwitz announced the reinstatement of Angela McCaskill in an email to the campus community on Monday. The statement doesn’t elaborate on the reasons for the reinstatement, and university officials declined further comment.

The Washington Blade adds:

In his email message on Monday, Hurwitz didn’t say whether the reinstatement was based on any conditions. At the time he placed McCaskill on leave, Hurwitz hinted that he was sympathetic to concerns raised by gay and lesbian students on campus that it was inappropriate for the campus diversity officer to push for a ballot measure seeking to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry.

“During the past three months a large number of you have taken the initiative to communicate with me,” Hurwitz said in his email. “This has been a period of reflection for all of us. I am deeply appreciative of the time you have taken to communicate your views, of the clearly heartfelt manner in which you have expressed those thoughts, and of the overall maturity you have shown in your willingness to consider the differing views others may hold.”

He added, “The work of the University’s Office of diversity and Inclusion is vital and must continue in an active and vibrant way. I personally look forward to working with Dr. McCaskill on the work of that office.”

Comments

  1. Francis says

    I don’t like this. She shouldn’t hold a job as a diversity officer if she’s against LGBT diversity. I’m wondering what’s going to happen from here. The school appears to take homophobia seriously but there are questions they need to answer going forward.

  2. Alex Parrish says

    Well that certainly makes one confident in the diversity efforts and diversity officers of the university. (NOT) I cannot imagine a more frustrating situation for the LGBT students there. Wasn’t there a lawsuit about this? What was the outcome? Is this part of a settlement — and if so, why doesn’t the University say so? Very strange.

  3. MrRoboto says

    And so the lawsuits begin. All it takes is one gay student or faculty member who has even a hint that this individual was involved in an adverse decision that affected them, and the university will have a hard time proving that no discrimination was involved.

  4. Chitown kev says

    I don’t think that Ms. McCaskill should lose her job at Gallaudet but I don’t think that she should be CDO either.

  5. Stephen says

    I’m sadden as a Deaf/HoH person that the school is allowing her back. She has no right working in diversity when she does not support it clearly.

    Also Towleroad can you please fix the title on this article. You are saying the very opposite of what the story is about. You make it seem like she was placed on leave for supporting a ballot, not as being against.

  6. Jack M says

    It would seem that the Diversity Office is in need of some diversity training. That’s what she would do for any other employee who needed it.

  7. Francis says

    Well, what’s going to happen more than anything is no-one LGBTQ is going to go to her at all. By keeping her as diversity officer it’s going to keep non-hetero students repressed from talking about their issues.

    I don’t get it. The school placing her on leave was a good step but just allowing her back in the same position will have what affect? Will there be someone else who works on behalf of LGBTQ students?

  8. John says

    @ Stephen. Hey there. She signed a petition in support of a popular vote ballot initiative that could have overturned the legislatively passed law.

  9. Rick says

    She is a black woman and they want to avoid a race/sex discrimination suit by re-instating her in all likelihood. If the individual in question had been a white male, he would no doubt not have been reinstated.

    So all you Far Left types who have encouraged identity politics and the culture of victimhood really have only yourselves to blame for situations like this. I hope you are happy.

  10. Diogenes Arktos says

    After more thought about the situation, I think she shouldn’t have been disciplined for signing a petition to put anything on a ballot. She shouldn’t have done it, however, because it looks bad.

    @Alex Parrish: I’m suspicious, too. Although I’m not a lawyer, I’ve heard about several settlements with confidentiality clauses – none of them prevented the simple statement that there has been a settlement.

  11. Paul R says

    That school has a huge gay population. They should have just paid her a settlement, because this is going to drag on and on.

  12. EYEROLL says

    Rick the hater of “everything that isn’t a white male” is back. Just when I thought 2013 was going to be a better year! Bleh.

    Victimhood? Funny coming from you:
    “If the individual in question had been a white male, he would no doubt not have been reinstated.” Oh yes, those poor white males! Take it down a notch Rick. You give the rest of us white males a bad name with your incessant rantings.

  13. ARCHIE BUNKER says

    Rick should be the last person commenting on diversity. He dislikes women, lesbians, mothers, black people….etc, etc.

  14. Rick says

    My father left my mother for a black woman and then when she in turn left him he used to dress me up in black-face drag and that’s why I’m the simpering ninny barely standing before you today.

  15. major707 says

    Isn’t this a federally chartered University? Also located in DC where marriage equality is currently legal…..I think they should have some responsibility to add transparency to this decision.

  16. Caliban says

    Sorry, even signing a petition for the civil rights of a group to be put to a popular vote, one of the very things the US Constitution was written to guard against, is in direct opposition to her professional duties and position. What if she had signed a petition for workplace accommodations for DEAF people to be put to a popular vote? Would that be OK?

    Then she doubled down on it by appearing in an ad for an anti-gay group. They should have FIRED her @ss for that. Then HER rights could have been put a vote- by a jury of her peers. Gallaudet backed down and they shouldn’t have.

  17. Donald says

    I think there should have been a ballot drawn up that let every GU student vote on whether or not they wanted her to come back…surely she’d be okay with that, right? Since she only thinks it fair gay marriage has the same treatment.

  18. Rick says

    “Then she doubled down on it by appearing in an ad for an anti-gay group. They should have FIRED her @ss for that. Then HER rights could have been put a vote- by a jury of her peers. Gallaudet backed down and they shouldn’t have”

    Being black and female gives her immunity when it comes to accountability for her actions towards a bunch of (mostly white male) gay students.

    Race and gender trump sexual orientation amongst the liberal hierarchy, so when situations like this blow up in your faces, you are pretty helpless to do anything about it.

  19. Rick says

    “Isn’t this a federally chartered University?”

    What if it is? It is still perfectly legal under Federal law to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation (but not race or gender). So what legal recourse would anyone have against her?

    And unfortunately, ENDA will in ali likelihood never pass as long as the same Far Left types who created situations like this one insist on keepind “gender identity” language in the bill….which means that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation will continue to be legal at the Federal level for decades to come…..

  20. concernedforthecity says

    No one should be fired for their personal beliefs. The question is, what is her record in her position and was she able to serve the student population in a way that offered equality and dignity to every group.

    Furthermore… someone opposing gay marriage does not mean they hate gay people. Hate is a very strong word…and an even stronger emotion that illicits purposeful action from the one that carries it…lest we forget that not long ago our President who was fully supported by the LGBT community…explicitly oppposed gay marriage. However…if you want to see someone evolve on the issue… how about we open the dialogue between the parties. Hold a meeting so that students can voice their concerns. The reality people feel strongly about gay marriage but the expectation is that if you oppose it you MUST BE SILENCED… If you hate me tell me…and we can talk about…but if you hate me and I keep you quiet about it…I think that is way more dangerous…personally…

  21. Francis says

    This isn’t the time for dialogue. This is a woman who holds the position of diversity officer at a very highly gay populated school. There is no room for someone who is anti-gay and unable to separate personal beliefs from the work place in such a position. Bottom line.

  22. Francis says

    This isn’t the time for dialogue. This is a woman who holds the position of diversity officer at a very highly gay populated school. There is no room for someone who is anti-gay and unable to separate personal beliefs from the work place in such a position. Bottom line.

  23. concernedforthecity says

    What evidence exists that she isn’t able to separate personal views from her profession… that’s all I am asking. Were there major concerns about this staff member prior to this event?

    By the way…this is the time for dialogue…

  24. dcinsider says

    Dialogue? Really? This ignorant bigot does a commercial for an anti-gay organization and the gay students are supposed to sit down with her and express their feelings? How about this, as one poster suggested, place her name on a ballot for the Gallaudet students to decide whether or not she keeps her job. That’s only fair, since she thought voting on people’s civil rights was OK, why not vote on her job?

  25. Francis says

    No, this isn’t the time for dialogue. This is a job, and you either are qualified to do the job or you’re not qualified. Angela McCaskill is not qualified.

    The second she decided to call Gallaudet “intolerant”, the second she decided to put marriage on the ballot and vote against our rights, the second she decided to speak in advertisements promoting hate against us, was when she decided that her anti-gay agenda meant more to her than her job. She is a selfish woman.

    This isn’t over. Remember that bigoted teacher from New Jersey who eventually got canned. We’ll see what happens. Like I said, I’ll wait for some answers before completely piling on Gallaudet.

  26. Keith says

    My bet. They reinstated her to avoid a future lawsuit, and will find a different excuse a year from now stating that she has left seeking new opportunities elsewhere.

  27. jamal49 says

    As she should have been. This is a free speech issues folks that can cut both ways. If the woman doesn’t support marriage equality, that’s her opinion and her business.

    It becomes OUR business when she tries to take that opinion and mix it up with her administrative duties to the detriment of LGBTQ students.

  28. EYEROLL says

    Jamal and Concerned: what if the head of the HR department signed a petition and was in a commercial supporting repeal of sexual harrasement laws? Don’t you see the conflict?

  29. EchtKultig says

    Jamal, signing a ballot petition is not an act of “free speech.” It’s legislating against the very thing her job is supposed to be about protecting. Would she have wanted the electorate to have a referendum on protections for disabled workers? To vote on civil rights for African Americans?

    As others have said, this was probably part of a hush hush settlement. She will be given a couple years to look for another job at full salary and have minimal duties during that time. Must be nice.
    It’s a shame the university didn’t screen her more carefully for this position in the first place.

  30. PDA says

    I’m saddened by this news. A Diversity officer should be open to any and all despite their personal opinions. Is it that difficult to find someone who loves humans just as they are? One has to wonder if all the LGBTQ folks at the university that need her services will just go without?

  31. Brian says

    I thought the signing of the petition was regrettable, but her explanations, or lack thereof, were the most offputting part. She basically said at various times that she had no idea what she was signing, or that she did know but that doesn’t tell us anything about her real views on gay marriage. Frankly, those are the explanations of an imbecile, and that alone should have persuaded Gallaudet to part ways with her.

  32. homogenius says

    @CONCERNEDFORTHECITY
    “No one should be fired for their personal beliefs. The question is, what is her record in her position and was she able to serve the student population in a way that offered equality and dignity to every group.”

    Sorry, no. In any position as an officer of the university, the job description includes not taking public positions in opposition to the university and making unauthorized public appearances. She simply can’t be effective as CDO while losing the trust, respect, and confidence of a large portion of the student body, not just LGBT.

    She deserves to be fired just for taking a controversial political position in a very public way without pre-clearing it with the university. She’s free to hold her own opinions and vote according to her conscience. But signing a petition to deny civil rights to a group she is charged to protect and to appear in advertising nullifies her effectiveness in her job.

    Good luck with getting her contract renewed.

  33. Dan Cobb says

    This woman is just another clearly incompetent black person who clings to their job because they know the only reason they hold their position is the color of their skin, and Ms. McCaskill seems positively ebullient about using her tokenism as a ticket to what she believes will be big $$$.
    What a whore.

  34. Dan Cobb says

    To Concerned for the City:

    IN answer to your question: this woman regards gays and lesbians as second class citizens. Her opposition to their civil right to marry is clear on that point.

    Get it? From that perspective, she obviously has no problem treating gays as second class citizens –since she has not problem voting against the rights of gays and lesbians. It’s a world view and it cannot BUT affect her work as CDO… it’s simply a joke that she is Chief Diversity Officer. She’s obviously incompetent.

    Man! I wish I had the right to vote on the civil rights of Ms. McCaskill!

  35. Continuum says

    Let’s see the woman appears in an anti-gay Ad, and so then she gets a 3 month paid vacation (excuse me “suspension”), and is then reinstated.

    Maybe the university should find an active member of the KKK and make that person the head of her department . . . sort of “sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

    I wonder what her reaction to her KKK boss would be.