Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gallaudet University official placed on leave for signing Maryland gay marriage petition referendum

A Gallaudet University Official, Angela McCaskill, responsible for diversity as part of her official duties, has been placed on administrative leave for signing a petition which put Maryland’s same-sex marriage law (signed March 1) onto a ballot for referendum.  Gallaudet is a university that serves the deaf, in NE Washington DC.

This appears to have happened merely for signing a petition, not for speaking out.

Earlier, the Washington Blade had created controversy by providing an Internet  link to the names of signers of the petition.

This seems to be a “conflict of interest” story, as I have described it before.

But both sides of the marriage debate have said that she should not be disciplined for expressing her personal views in a petition.  She may just be saying people should be able to vote on the issue through the referendum process, by direct democracy. 
The link to the Baltimore Sun (by Annie Linskey) story is here.

Wikipedia attribution link for Gallaudet picture.

Update: Oct. 16

McCaskill says she's "not anti-gay" and feels that she is being bullied; WJLA news story here.

I would seem to me that she did not seek to draw attention to her own views by signing a petition, so there is no conflict of interest.  The University should definitely reinstate her now.

This video, in sign language, says "Signing a petition is a civil right."  It would seem to be guaranteed by the First Amendment, for a public employee (but this university is private, isn't it?)

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