Angela McCaskill reinstated after signing gay marriage petition

WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) - Gallaudet University has reinstated its chief diversity officer after a 3-month paid suspension for signing a petition circulated by opponents of gay marriage in Maryland.

University President T. Alan Hurwitz announced the reinstatement of Angela McCaskill in an email to the campus community on Monday. The statement doesn't elaborate on the reasons for the reinstatement, and university officials declined further comment.

Gallaudet is the nation's leading university for the deaf and hard of hearing, and the Washington campus has a prominent gay community. McCaskill was placed on leave in October after administrators became aware that she had signed the petition. The petition drive led to a referendum on gay marriage in Maryland, where McCaskill lives. Voters upheld the law, and same-sex couples began marrying in the state this month.

“I am not anti-gay. I never have been and I never will be,” says McCaskill.

Some here say they are hopeful McCaskill’s return will put an end to the controversy.

“Maybe people should just leave her alone,” says Cat Nguyn. “If she leaves her interests out of what academic environment is then maybe it’s not a big deal.”

In an email sent to the campus community Monday, President Hurwitz said, in part:

"...During the past three months a large number of you have taken the initiative to communicate with me. I have also had the opportunity of attending discussions with students and with others. This has been a period of reflection for all of us. I am deeply appreciative of the time you have taken to communicate your views, of the clearly heartfelt manner in which you have expressed those thoughts, and of the overall maturity you have shown in your willingness to consider the differing views others may hold..."

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