UPDATE 10/16/12 @ 3:24 PM EST Good news: Gallaudet president wants Angela McCaskill to return following gay marriage petition controversy
“Some proponents of gay marriage“, reads the subhead to John Fund’s piece on The New Blacklist, “would rather intimidate their critics than debate them.” If they believe their case to be so strong, why are they so reluctant to take on those who oppose it?
Jonathan Rauch had no such compunction about taking on one-time gay marriage opponent David Blankenhorn, helping the latter change his mind. There is a real-world example of the power of ideas to persuade, yet other gay marriage activists would rather ostracize gay marriage opponents than make an effort to challenge their opinions.
Fund tells the story of Angela McCaskill, “the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., a school for the deaf and hard of hearing”:
She has now worked at Gallaudet for over 20 years, and in January 2011 she was named its chief diversity officer. Last year, she helped open a resource center for sexual minorities on campus. But she has now been placed on leave because of pressure from some students and faculty. Her job is on the line.
McCaskill’s sin? She was one of 200,000 people to sign a petition demanding a referendum on a law recognizing gay marriage, which was signed by Maryland’s Democratic governor, Martin O’Malley, in March. The referendum will be on the ballot next month, and the vote is expected to be close.
. . . .
Gallaudet University’s president, T. Alan Hurwitz, announced that he was putting McCaskill on paid leave because “some feel it is inappropriate for an individual serving as chief diversity officer” to have signed such a petition.
(Read the whole thing.) Guess, diversity doesn’t mean diversity of opinion.
Just because she supports a referendum on state recognition of same-sex marriage doesn’t mean she harbors any animus against gay people. She may just believe that marriage defines a union of two individuals of different sexes. Or, maybe she just feels that the people should have the final say on the issue.
In any case, it’s sad to see an individual punished for her opinion. Let us hope that we are not the only gay people speaking out on Ms. McCaskill’s behalf.
NB: Tweaked the title.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Seems there is some tolerance for diversity of opinion in the Old Line State — and that we aren’t the only gay people speaking out on Ms. McCaskil’s behalf rusty writes to inform us:
Supporters of same-sex marriage, including Gov. Martin O’Malley, are calling for the university to reinstate McCaskill.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality states: “We strongly disagree with the decision to put the chief diversity officer on leave and hope she is reinstated immediately. Dr. McCaskill signed the petition in church after hearing her pastor speak about the issue.”