Washington, D.C., October 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews) – The Chief Diversity Officer of Gallaudet University has been placed on administrative leave after a homosexual blogger publicized the fact that she signed a petition to support Question 6, a Maryland ballot measure that would send the same-sex “marriage” law recently passed by the state legislature to voters for a referendum.

Angela McCaskill, who lives in Maryland, is the first Chief Diversity Officer at the university for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and was the first black deaf woman to be awarded a Ph.D. from the school. She reportedly signed the petition after her pastor, Lee P. Washington of Reid Temple AME Church, preached against same-sex “marriage” during a sermon. 

“Dr. McCaskill has participated in a legislative initiative that some feel is inappropriate for an individual serving as Chief Diversity Officer,” said Gallaudet University President T. Alan Hurwitz, in a statement. “I will use the extended time while she is on administrative leave to determine the appropriate next steps.”

Although Question 6 is neutral on the issue of same-sex “marriage” and simply brings the yet-to-be-enacted law before Maryland voters for their approval or rejection, homosexual activists have painted the measure as anti-gay. Meanwhile, pro-family forces have mobilized in support of Question 6, arguing that Marylanders should have a larger say in whether their state becomes the next to redefine marriage.

The university’s choice to discipline McCaskill for her private political activity prompted shock and dismay on both sides of the debate. Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a group fighting for same-sex “marriage,” have thrown their support behind McCaskill. “We strongly disagree with the decision to put the chief diversity officer on leave and hope she is reinstated immediately,” spokesman Josh Levin said in a statement. “Everyone is entitled to free speech and to their own opinion about Question 6, which is about treating everyone fairly and equally under the law.”

Maryland Marriage Alliance, a group supporting traditional marriage, also released a statement in McCaskill’s defense. Chairman Derek McCoy said, “I join an ever-growing number of Marylanders in expressing my complete dismay over Gallaudet University’s decision to place Dr. Angela McCaskill on administrative leave for signing the marriage referendum petition.”

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, a proponent of same-sex “marriage,” also called for Dr. McCaskill’s reinstatement.  “Everyone has a right to their opinion, and everyone has a right to participate in the political process,” he told WJLA-TV. Likewise, D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh urged Gallaudet to return McCaskill to her job. Said Cheh, who is a constitutional lawyer, “Employees have their own private lives and they’re entitled to their own private lives and whatever views about whatever politics they have.” 

Dr. McCaskill and her lawyers will hold a press conference in Annapolis on Tuesday.  Although no lawsuits have yet been filed, McCaskill is said to be considering all her options. She has not ruled out legal action against the university.