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Activists Both For And Against Gay Marriage Protest At Gallaudet

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Protesters on both sides of the same-sex marriage issue are calling for Angel McCaskill's reinstatement in front of Gallaudet University Thursday.
Protesters on both sides of the same-sex marriage issue are calling for Angel McCaskill's reinstatement in front of Gallaudet University Thursday.

Opponents and supporters of Maryland's referendum on gay marriage are having dueling protests at Gallaudet University, but they're both asking for the same thing.

Angela McCaskill was placed on paid leave as chief diversity officer at Gallaudet, a university for the deaf and hard of hearing in Washington, after administrators learned that she signed the petition. She says she's not against LGBT people, but thinks Maryland voters should decide whether gay marriage should be legal.

On Thursday, African-American ministers on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate in Maryland are holding counter-protests outside of the Gallaudet University campus. They both condemn the decision to put McCaskill on leave just for signing a petition to put the issue on the ballot, and they're calling on the university to reinstate her.

"What happened to Angela McCaskill on this campus represents a major transgression of civil liberties and human rights," says Rev. Velmon Coates. "Human and civil rights are about protecting the public square from systemic and structural bias."

Despite their agreement regarding McCaskill, the difference on the same-sex marriage issue was clear.

"I'm an ordained Christian minister, and I have divine authority, whether you believe that or not, by almighty God to tell you and everybody else what God said is the correct and the only definition of marriage," says Rev. Anthony Evans.

While protesters are in agreement on McCaskill, some students on campus question their logic. They say if a woman's right to vote, interracial marriages, and even slavery had been put up to voters back in the day, the outcome may have been very different for those minorities.

The university hasn't issued a definitive statement about McCaskill's future.

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