Last October Angela McCaskill was placed on leave from her job as the chief diversity officer at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., an educational institution chartered by Congress in 1864 to serve the needs of the deaf and those with hearing impediments. Maryland, where Dr. McCaskill lives, had passed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage. Groups opposing same-sex marriage circulated petitions calling for the measure to be placed on the ballot so voters could decide the issue. McCaskill signed the petition. She stated that she was not anti-gay but thought it was an issue that voters should decide. This past November, voters upheld the same-sex marriage law.
Critics of Dr. McCaskill said that a person who opposed same sex-marriage should not hold a key position relating to diversity. But leaders on both sides of the issues argued that McCaskill should be free to exercise her first amendment rights.
Now the president of Gallaudet University has reinstated Dr. McCaskill to her post as chief diversity officer.
Dr. McCaskill had originally been promoted to the post in January 2011. Prior to joining the staff at the university, she served as an educational program specialist for the U.S. Department of Education. She is a graduate of Alabama State University and holds a master’s degree from Howard University and a doctorate in special education administration from Gallaudet.