Gally’s Chief Diversity Officer Saga con’t.

…Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance… ~ George Washington borrowing a phrase from Moses Seixas

Governments should not restrict folks’ civil rights.

Just thinking about some commentaries on the controversy surrounding Gallaudet’s Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill, signing a petition to put LGBTQ marriage rights up for question on the Maryland ballot.  MD had already passed a just, right and good marriage equality law that ensured that LGBTQ had the same rights to legal marriage as other American Citizens.  It also ensured that religious entities would be exempt from having to recognize or perform such marriages.

Upon learning of its Chief Diversity Officer (CDO),Dr. McCaskill, taking this action that could result in the overturning of LGBTQ legal and civil rights, Gallaudet University put the CDO on administrative leave so they could examine if she could uphold the duties of her office.  See the Mission, Vision, Value and Goal Statements of Gallaudet’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion at this link

Dr. McCaskill held a press conference in which she named two lesbian professors at Gallaudet as having made the Institute aware of her signing the petition to get question 6 put on the ballot on Nov. 6 putting LGBTQ Marriage equality into question and into jeopardy.   She also thanked Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council – a known hate group – you can see the horrible things Tony and his organization have done and said about gays at  Dr. McCaskill also thanked Rev. Derrick McCoy from the Maryland Marriage Alliance, who spearheaded the anti-gay petition drive claiming religious grounds to justify advocating for state legalized discrimination.

Since her press conference, the Rev. McCoy’s group Maryland Marriage Alliance has made an ad using Gallaudet footage of Dr. McCaskill to spread fear mongering that if GLBTQ folks have marriage rights than those who speak out against it will be fired.

One – she has NOT been fired and

two – she is a chief DIVERSITY officer and this is the only reason why she has been put on a paid leave – because they have to determine if she can uphold the duties and spirit of her office if she is taking actions to obstruct LGBTQ civil rights.  Both Gallaudet and Dr. McCaskill have called upon the Maryland Marriage Alliance to pull the ad.  Rev. McCoy is also exploiting McCaskill’s situation further by hosting protest demonstrations in front of Gallaudet, while students are told NOT to protest by Gallaudet admin..  So much for free speech and press.

“Right now we’re seeing if you believe in something as simple as marriage and the fundamental fabric of the family unit in our society and in our culture, you will be attacked,” McCoy said.

To which i say to Rev. McCoy – wow – that is looking like a mighty big prejudice you are dragging around.  It is you who are attacking LGBTQ folks rights and everyone has the right and duty to stand up to such oppression.  The fact that you trying to use God as an excuse for such inexcusable discrimination and prejudice on your part is NOT COOL.  The Maryland law ‘as is’ PROTECTS you and your church and allows you to still be discriminatory in your practices – it simply says that the state should not practice such bigotry and injustice.  See quote at top from George Washington and remember MLK Jr’s words of “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
And now for the good stuff that has crossed my path – cuz we all need the good stuff and – calling all MD voters – get out there and vote YES for question 6.   Don’t let the haters win.

the Good Stuff:

There is a great ASL video letter to Dr. McCaskill by Adam Bartley, a married Gay Deaf man, sharing his heartfelt feelings about the situation.  It is powerful and i thank him for his courage, sincerity, and love.  If i can get permission to repost it here at PoTE i will – its making its rounds in FB and is very important me think.

Josh Swiller’s blog entry at the Huff Post College blog site is important.  I dont fully see everything the same as he does but i truly appreciate some of the things he is highlighting and stating here.

Article from Inside Higher Ed

A Few quotes:

“Anyone who works at a university has the right to espouse any viewpoint, assuming that’s done in a respectful way,” said Benjamin Reese, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and the vice president for institutional equity at Duke University. “But I think all of us in senior roles at colleges and universities recognize that there is not a clear demarcation between our college and university service and our private life.”

For diversity officers, Reese said, the line can be even fuzzier. Though he did not want to comment on McCaskill’s case without knowing the details, Reese did say that university administrators should recognize that often it is impossible to ever completely dissociate from their university role.

“At the end of the day, it begs the question of what was she thinking,” Windmeyer said. “It’s also important to recognize that she has done many things in her job that were LGBT-supportive. I think we need to look at this situation from the lens of a student – the student should be able to sit down with the chief diversity officer and say, ‘What were you thinking?’  and then they should be able to share what they felt.”

Reese believes most chief diversity officers are working to build a safe environment for all students, but adds, “It’s critical that chief diversity officers behave in a way that contributes to an inclusive environment, including the LGBT community.”

So even the leaders in diversity and inclusion are saying – YIKES re: what McCaskill did.

They are also saying that Gallaudet administration, McCaskill, and the campus should be allowed the time and space to work this out.  Lawyers and the anti-gay groups are not helping the matter.
I believe Dr. McCaskill is a good person who has gotten caught up in a bad situation.  She can right these wrongs.
Still hoping on those better angels of our nature.

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