Gallaudet’s Chief Diversity Officer Signs Anti-Gay Petition

On November 6th, Maryland voters will decide whether the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which was enacted by the Maryland legislature and grants lesbian and gay couples the equal right to marry, is upheld or rejected.

While there are many that support overturning this important civil rights legislation, one person you would never expect to be in favor of doing so is Gallaudet University’s own Chief Diversity Officer and Maryland resident, Dr. Angela McCaskill.

Dr. McCaskill, whose job at Gallaudet is to promote diversity and inclusion at Gallaudet, signed an anti-gay marriage petition dated July 12, 2012, in favor of overturning the Civil Marriage Protection Act and denying lesbian and gay people the basic right to marry.

A Gallaudet faculty member, who at this time wishes to remain anonymous, noticed Dr. McCaskill’s name, address and signature on the anti-gay marriage petition and inquired about it.  When confronted by the faculty member, Dr. McCaskill confirmed that she had in fact signed the petition and explained that she had done so while at church, after her preacher had preached against gay marriage.  As she was leaving, her husband pointed to the petition and she signed it without giving it further thought.

An official complaint was filed with the University last week by the mentioned faculty member and a meeting was held on Friday with Gallaudet University President, Dr. Alan Hurwitz.

Dr. McCaskill is expected to issue a public apology.

The Chief Diversity Officer position is a new position at Gallaudet and Dr. McCaskill became the first person to assume the role early last year. According to sources, Dr. McCaskill has been an ardent supporter of Gallaudet’s LGBTQA Resource Center, which was formed in October 2010 and is part of the Office of Diversity and Equity for Students.

Dr. McCaskill is well liked by students.  “She’s been a great ally to the LGBT community and supported many of the LGBTQA Resource Center’s programs,” said one student, who asked to remain anonymous. “I’m heart broken about this.”

LGBT students, faculty and staff we spoke to said they felt shock, disappointment, anger and betrayal upon learning of the signed petition.  Some are calling for Dr. McCaskill’s resignation.  Others are waiting for an official response from Dr. McCaskill and wondering if it will be possible for her to regain their trust.

“In her role as Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. McCaskill has made many advances for Deaf people of color, LGBT and other minorities at Gallaudet,” said a staff member who wishes to remain anonymous.  “This situation is very disheartening for all of us.”

Dr. McCaskill could not be reached for comment.



Correction: It was the faculty member that filed the complaint with the University, not Dr. McCaskill, who met with President Hurwitz on Friday.

  • Jeremiah Sammons

    I really like Dr. McCaskill, but I think she should resign. How can she serve as an “advocate” for an entire community she has shown that she does not truly support? I am truly disappointed!

  • BobRRR

    For you, some Deaf LGBTs who think that’s their rights to sign petitions and vote against gay marriages, it is clear you don’t think or care about lying, bullying and belittling gay kids. I just saw TV ads to vote No against Question 6, Man + Woman = Marriage is about Love and Respect. I shudder thinking in thousands of homes where anti gay families scare their own gay kids within Homo hostile climates. It also encourages to bully gay kids on school busses when passing billboards with “smiling and loving families”. What purpose does anti gay ads serve? Nothing but only bullying.

  • As President of the association “AGLSN” (Association of Gay and Lesbian Deaf Normandy) France, I want to express that I do not accept the attitude of Dr. McCaskill to Gallaudet University, I believe that when leaders must respect the diversity within this high institution, along with support for the struggle of some deaf gays and lesbians who want rights as the rest. I think a person working in the university, he will support and respect, but it shocks me that Dr McCaskill dare deny rights to others who have long campaigned for the results … I hope when she would present its public apology, it should not repeat the same mistake for the future leaders of this to his university.

    Sorry for my English but I am French and thank you for your information about Dr. McCaskill.

  • ridor9th

    Hello, Michaut. Don’t apologize. For a French, you write English very well. In fact, your writings are much better than many Deaf people in USA can write in English!!


    • respect4anyone

      Don’t judgement for non-English or good English. Let them speak out whatever they want. Thanks

    • basenjilover

      Don’t be putting deaf people down with that kind of comment.

  • ridor9th

    respect4anyone: Please read my English again before you talk something stupid like that! I was lending the support for Michaut. STFU

  • Kelly Hyder-Stockdale

    I am Deaf and I believe before we can call out Angela, we must be willing to call out the administration at Gallaudet with regards to diversity. I do not believe the administration leads in a way that we can hold them up as a model for diversity. Take a look at the people in leadership, are they mostly white and hearing? or is it evenly distributed between the Deaf and hearing? Furthermore, if there are several Deaf on staff, what are their positions and salary? Just remember, for every finger you point, there is usually three pointing back at you. My experience tells me that Deaf education has been led by white, hearing “experts” who have literally run Deaf education into the ground.

  • Jax Dexter

    someone who sign the anti-gay marriage petition and having a job as a Chief Diversity Officer does not make sense. both actions don’t share same views. if you want to be CDO, you have to support diversity 100%!