The controversial decision to suspend Gallaudet University's chief diversity officer after she signed a petition to bring Maryland's gay marriage amendment to a statewide referendum has taken an unusual turn.
Dr. Angela McCaskill was placed on administrative leave more than a week ago after it was discovered she signed a petition circulated at her church to put gay marriage on the ballot in Maryland, igniting a firestorm around her.
Conservative groups like the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage spoke out in support of McCaskill. They want her fully reinstated because, according to videos released by both groups, a person's view on an issue should not affect their job.
Ironically, gay marriage proponents feel the same way.
"We've said all along that the professor should get her job back and be reinstated, but our focus in the next couple of weeks, as we head into election day, is Question 6 and what it's all about, and it's about fairness and equality," says Kevin Nix, with Marylanders for Marriage Equality. "Religious freedom is protected."
McCaskill has not clarified whether she is for or against same sex marriage, but she has said she felt intimidated by the University's action and bullied by the school, staff and students.
A statement from Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz says that because of her position as a diversity officer, people were concerned and confused by her action, in signing the petition. He wants those concerns addressed in order for McCaskill to return to her position.