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Gallaudet Diversity Officer Fires Back Over Petition Controversy

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Gallaudet University is seeing some push-back after the placed the chief diversity officer on leave for signing a petition on the same-sex marriage law.
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Gallaudet University is seeing some push-back after the placed the chief diversity officer on leave for signing a petition on the same-sex marriage law.

Gallaudet University's chief diversity officer who is currently on administrative leave after signing a petition to put Maryland's gay marriage law on the ballot, is demanding to be reinstated.

Gallaudet President T. Allan Hurwitz said in a statement that many people at the university were concerned when Angela McCaskill signed the petition to put Maryland's law allowing same-sex marriage on the ballot.  Voters will weigh in on the law in a referendum next month.

McCaskill's attorney says she signed the petition after a preacher at her church spoke about gay marriage. Shortly afterward, a blog supporting gay and deaf people reported on the story and McCaskill was put on administrative leave.

Speaking in Annapolis today, McCaskill repeated her support for the referendum. McCaskill says she was only exercising her right, and she says she signed simply because she believed Maryland residents should decide the matter.

She says she was intimidated by the university and she is seeking compensation for emotional damage caused by the university and student groups.

Hurwitz says he believes a resolution can be reached to enable McCaskill to return to work, but he says McCaskill and the school need to respond to concerns raised by the gay and deaf communities.

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