Conservatives are calling foul against a Maryland university for
disciplining one of its employees because she signed a petition to
let voters decide the homosexual "marriage" issue.
Family Research Council (FRC) spokesman J.P.
Duffy explains that Gallaudet University has placed its chief
diversity officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill, on paid leave because she
signed the petition to put the issue on the Maryland ballot.
"Up until just a few years ago, I think a decision punishing any
employee for engaging in the democratic process would have actually
been jaw-dropping," he suggests.
"But unfortunately, what we're seeing here is this
discriminatory action I think reflects really a troubling
nationwide trend of voter intimidation and bullying tactics against
those who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one
FRC says it is time for those with traditional values to say
"enough is enough."
"First of all, we are calling on the university to fully
reinstate Dr. McCaskill, and we've launched a national petition asking people to
sign … that would call on the university to reinstate her," Duffy
reports. "And secondly, we're calling on the board of the
university to fire the president of that university for engaging in
this kind of misconduct."
The FRC spokesman adds that McCaskill, a Gallaudet alumnus, is a
"very distinguished and highly regarded senior university
official," and his organization feels the action taken against her
"is beyond the pale."
The petition McCaskill signed was successful, which means
Maryland voters will decide in the November election whether to
reject a bill passed by lawmakers that legalizes same-sex
"This is one of those things where
because she simply signed the petition, already she is being
victimized, and she has been suspended from her position right
now," Derek McCoy of the Maryland Marriage Alliance notes.
"We just see that this is another one of those tacks where if
somebody voices their opinion on marriage, they get villainized and
also ostracized out of society and [told] You can't do that;
you can't support marriage being between one man and one
McCoy reminds the school that McCaskill has a constitutionally
protected right to free speech and free expression.
"This is not an issue or a referendum even on her job
performance and how she's actually conducted herself on her job
performance," he notes. "Obviously, she's been there for 23 years.
She's the first PHD graduate from Gallaudet University who's deaf
and is an African-American woman, and I think it says something
about her, her character, about what she's been before."