University suspends official for supporting marriage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One of the 160,000 Marylanders who signed a petition to overturn the state's same-sex marriage law may lose her job as chief diversity officer at Gallaudet University for participating in an "inappropriate legislative initiative."

Gallaudet University President T. Alan Hurwitz placed a statement on the University's Facebook page Oct. 10 indicating he placed Dr. Angela McCaskill on paid administrative leave immediately. McCaskill signed the petition in July.

"It recently came to my attention that Dr. McCaskill has participated in a legislative initiative some feel is inappropriate for an individual serving as Chief Diversity Officer," Hurwitz wrote.

Because of the petitioners' efforts, voters in Maryland will have the opportunity to repeal the law creating same-sex marriage. A "No" vote on Question 6 would repeal the law.

Senior Counsel at the American Freedom Law Center Robert Muise said all Americans have the right to sign petitions.

"This is just a microcosm of a really larger problem that I'm seeing across the country — Christians who want to engage in  their religious belief and express their views are being punished," Muise told CitizenLink.

Hurwitz stated he would use this time to determine the next his steps regarding McCaskill.

McCaskill is the first deaf African American woman to earn a doctorate from Gallaudet University, a Washington D.C. school, which specializes in programs to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.