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Gallaudet University Punishes Official for Signing Marriage Ballot Petition

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Associated Press reported that Gallaudet University has placed their "chief diversity officer...on paid leave after she signed a petition to put a gay marriage referendum on the ballot in Maryland."

The ballot measure will allow Maryland voters to accept or reject legislation that redefines marriage. Dr. Angela McCaskill received her PhD from Gallaudet University and is herself hearing impaired.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins had the following reaction:

"Until a few years ago, a decision punishing an employee for engaging in the democratic process would have been jaw-dropping. However, Gallaudet University 's discriminatory action reflects the troubling trend of intimidation and bullying tactics against those who uphold marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Over the summer, we saw two mayors attempt to block Chick-fil-a location permits simply because the mayors disagreed with the marriage views of Chick-fil-A's CEO.

"A person should no more be punished for signing a petition than they should be for voting. This is a basic citizen's right to participation in our democratic process. Gallaudet University claims to believe in diversity but clearly their definition of diversity doesn't allow for dissent when it comes to marriage.

"Gallaudet University 's action underscores that far more is at stake in redefining marriage than two people walking down the aisle. Indeed, the very livelihood of business owners and employees is at stake. If marriage is redefined, we can fully expect to see more of these discriminatory actions taken against anyone who espouses marriage as it has always been defined.

"The University President should be fired for violating our most basic civil rights. The University's punishment will no doubt have a chilling effect. If this is allowed to stand, others will follow," concluded Perkins.

SOURCE Family Research Council