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University Draws Fire After Placing Official on Leave for Signing Marriage Petition

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Oct 16
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A federally chartered university's decision to place its chief diversity officer on paid leave over her support for a referendum challenging Maryland's same-sex marriage law is drawing fire, the Christian Post reports. Conservative and LGBT groups alike have denounced Gallaudet University's decision to suspend Dr. Angela McCaskill after signing the marriage referendum petition. "Quite simply, it was well within her rights to sign the petition," said Derek McCoy, chairman of the Maryland Marriage Alliance. Josh Levin of Marylanders for Marriage Equality also commented: "We strongly disagree with the decision to put the chief diversity officer on leave and hope she is reinstated immediately. Everyone is entitled to free speech and their own opinion about Question 6." After Maryland became the eighth state to legalize gay marriage, traditional marriage supporters collected signatures to place the new law on the November ballot to allow voters to decide on the issue of marriage. McCaskill signed the petition in July while at church, but a Gallaudet faculty member, who remains anonymous, recently discovered her name on the petition and filed a complaint with the university. The university then announced last Wednesday that McCaskill would be placed on administrative leave effective immediately while "the appropriate next steps" were determined.