Fired for signing a gay marriage petition

The Maryland state legislature has legalized gay marriage.  Some citizens, though, as is their right, have circulated a petition calling for a referendum on the issue.  So the D.C. area gay newspaper, The Washington Blade, published the names of the people who signed the petition, opening them up to harrassment, intimidation, and punishment.

T. Alan Hurwitz, the president of Gallaudet University, the federally-funded college for the deaf, learned from a Lesbian couple on his faculty that one of his employees, Angela McCaskill, the college’s diversity officer for 24 years, signed the petition.  So he suspended her from her job.

McCaskill, a deaf African-American, insisted she was not anti-gay; rather, she is pro-democracy, thinking that a question like gay marriage needs to be decided by the people as a whole.  She said she signed the petition at her church.

She said, via signing, “I am dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance, a university that manages by intimidation, a university that allows bullying among faculty, staff and students.”

See  Gallaudet worker: ‘Pro-democracy,’ not anti-gay – The Washington Post.

Should citizens be in jeopardy for their employment for exercising their political rights?

What does this case suggest about how opponents of gay marriage will be treated?  Do you believe those who oppose gay marriage, including pastors and churches, will be tolerated once gay marriage becomes the law of the land?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    “I am dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance, a university that manages by intimidation, a university that allows bullying among faculty, staff and students.”

    Sounds like a lot of them. Probably most of them.

    Show up to your favorite one as a conservative speaker, and see what happens to you, and how the admin. does not really care and often fosters the brutish behavior.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    “I am dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance, a university that manages by intimidation, a university that allows bullying among faculty, staff and students.”

    Sounds like a lot of them. Probably most of them.

    Show up to your favorite one as a conservative speaker, and see what happens to you, and how the admin. does not really care and often fosters the brutish behavior.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The tolerance ideal appealed to the folks of high ideals, so it was used to get certain ideas, well, tolerated. However, not all of the folks with new ideas were tolerant themselves. Surprise! Well, no not really. Human societies are hierarchical much as we may sometimes pine away for egalitarianism. So, when the Czar or the Aristocrats are overthrown by some group promising democracy, they are just replaced by a new Czar and his Aristocrats. Just look at how people keep asking the presidential candidates about things that the legislature (people’s regional representatives) are responsible for. People seem to have some innate desire for a dictator (SOB) who will make everyone do what they want, and of course, they want him to be their SOB.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The tolerance ideal appealed to the folks of high ideals, so it was used to get certain ideas, well, tolerated. However, not all of the folks with new ideas were tolerant themselves. Surprise! Well, no not really. Human societies are hierarchical much as we may sometimes pine away for egalitarianism. So, when the Czar or the Aristocrats are overthrown by some group promising democracy, they are just replaced by a new Czar and his Aristocrats. Just look at how people keep asking the presidential candidates about things that the legislature (people’s regional representatives) are responsible for. People seem to have some innate desire for a dictator (SOB) who will make everyone do what they want, and of course, they want him to be their SOB.

  • Michael B.

    While it is true that legalization of gay marriage is quickly coming, I don’t believe any of you need to be concerned about losing your jobs or intolerance on that level in the near future. Moreover, even as society’s views on gays quickly become more liberal, older people have a way of getting “grandfathered in”, where it is acceptable for them to stick to older views. Consider only recently as society became more intolerant of racism — it was still acceptable for your grandmother to talk about “getting the colored boy to come over and help clean”. For your kids, however, it will likely be a different story. They won’t need to worry about getting fed to lions or going to jail for being anti-gay, but most likely it would be treated the same way as if they were anti-black. And they might even get away with it on some level, but they’ll have to be more low-key than you are. But consider, you’re probably raising your kids to be much more tolerant of homosexuals than what your parents taught you as a kid. So your kids will probably be relatively adjusted to the new thoughts on homosexuality.

  • Michael B.

    While it is true that legalization of gay marriage is quickly coming, I don’t believe any of you need to be concerned about losing your jobs or intolerance on that level in the near future. Moreover, even as society’s views on gays quickly become more liberal, older people have a way of getting “grandfathered in”, where it is acceptable for them to stick to older views. Consider only recently as society became more intolerant of racism — it was still acceptable for your grandmother to talk about “getting the colored boy to come over and help clean”. For your kids, however, it will likely be a different story. They won’t need to worry about getting fed to lions or going to jail for being anti-gay, but most likely it would be treated the same way as if they were anti-black. And they might even get away with it on some level, but they’ll have to be more low-key than you are. But consider, you’re probably raising your kids to be much more tolerant of homosexuals than what your parents taught you as a kid. So your kids will probably be relatively adjusted to the new thoughts on homosexuality.

  • Trey

    @Michael B
    Way to spin it and ignore those who actually argue against homosex. Canada is a good example. There pastors are prosecuted for condemning homosex. Your argument is quite ingenious to think those older people will be tolerated. They aren’t now so why later?

  • Trey

    @Michael B
    Way to spin it and ignore those who actually argue against homosex. Canada is a good example. There pastors are prosecuted for condemning homosex. Your argument is quite ingenious to think those older people will be tolerated. They aren’t now so why later?

  • Andy

    The ‘intolerance’ does not surprise me. It is unfortunate that open-mindedness–or even just a balance of ideas–escapes the majority of our universities. That being said, we live in a democratic republic and majority does not always rule. Things are not decided by the people as a whole, unless we are speaking of the election of our representatives in government. Such confusion is all too common. McCaskill should be free to exercise freedom of speech though and continue her work as the diversity officer, especially if her signing of the petition was related to a political view and not an anti-gay bias.

  • Andy

    The ‘intolerance’ does not surprise me. It is unfortunate that open-mindedness–or even just a balance of ideas–escapes the majority of our universities. That being said, we live in a democratic republic and majority does not always rule. Things are not decided by the people as a whole, unless we are speaking of the election of our representatives in government. Such confusion is all too common. McCaskill should be free to exercise freedom of speech though and continue her work as the diversity officer, especially if her signing of the petition was related to a political view and not an anti-gay bias.

  • Patrick kyle

    Should citizens be in jeopardy for their employment for exercising their political rights?
    No, but it is fast becoming a reality.

  • Patrick kyle

    Should citizens be in jeopardy for their employment for exercising their political rights?
    No, but it is fast becoming a reality.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    To me comment 3 illustrates the sort of bandwagon version of truth that is growing in popularity. That is something is true if everyone thinks it is true, never mind objective assessment. So racism is bad because people think it is bad, not because it violates a moral principle. The current example being that unhealthy homo erotic behavior between two people deserves the same state recognition and support as healthy unions that produce people. Objectively speaking, there is no case for it, but by the bandwagon theory of truth, all you have to do is tell kids something is true; they grow up believing it; and voila, it’s true because people say it is. Of course by this method, we can assert that the earth is flat and just teach it to enough kids and repeat it enough and it will be the same kind of true, which of course doesn’t stand up to empirical evidence, just like homo erotic behavior doesn’t stand up against empirical evidence. So, the triumph of false belief is no triumph at all. It is the temporary victory of lies over truth. It exist only in the human mind. It has no corresponding reality.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    To me comment 3 illustrates the sort of bandwagon version of truth that is growing in popularity. That is something is true if everyone thinks it is true, never mind objective assessment. So racism is bad because people think it is bad, not because it violates a moral principle. The current example being that unhealthy homo erotic behavior between two people deserves the same state recognition and support as healthy unions that produce people. Objectively speaking, there is no case for it, but by the bandwagon theory of truth, all you have to do is tell kids something is true; they grow up believing it; and voila, it’s true because people say it is. Of course by this method, we can assert that the earth is flat and just teach it to enough kids and repeat it enough and it will be the same kind of true, which of course doesn’t stand up to empirical evidence, just like homo erotic behavior doesn’t stand up against empirical evidence. So, the triumph of false belief is no triumph at all. It is the temporary victory of lies over truth. It exist only in the human mind. It has no corresponding reality.

  • JenSny

    What would PHC do if a professor publicly ( ie, outside of campus)espoused a view that was contrary to the statement of faith?
    Not a likely scenario, I know, but maybe the question really should be does Gaullaudet vett their staff and ask them to endorse a specific ideology? If not then they should not have fired her.

  • JenSny

    What would PHC do if a professor publicly ( ie, outside of campus)espoused a view that was contrary to the statement of faith?
    Not a likely scenario, I know, but maybe the question really should be does Gaullaudet vett their staff and ask them to endorse a specific ideology? If not then they should not have fired her.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    “I am dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance, a university that manages by intimidation, a university that allows bullying among faculty, staff and students.”

    And if that’s what you think, then we’re gonna FIRE you.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    “I am dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance, a university that manages by intimidation, a university that allows bullying among faculty, staff and students.”

    And if that’s what you think, then we’re gonna FIRE you.

  • fjsteve

    A little more about the person who got suspended:

    McCaskill, 54, was the first deaf African American woman to earn a PhD at Gallaudet, a university for the deaf and hard of hearing in the District. She has worked at Gallaudet for more than 24 years and was named top diversity official last year. McCaskill said she rearranged her budget to find money to open a resource center on campus for sexual minorities, hired an openly transgender employee and hosted many events centered around discussing LGBT issues.

    Also telling was that the university president offered her th opportunity to return on the condition that she work with university officials to address the concerns. That means the issue was not that her views conflicted with her job but that they placed the university in an awkward position. Perhaps they need to publicize the views of all of the universities employees in order to weed out those with views that do not fall in line with the politically correct model.

  • fjsteve

    A little more about the person who got suspended:

    McCaskill, 54, was the first deaf African American woman to earn a PhD at Gallaudet, a university for the deaf and hard of hearing in the District. She has worked at Gallaudet for more than 24 years and was named top diversity official last year. McCaskill said she rearranged her budget to find money to open a resource center on campus for sexual minorities, hired an openly transgender employee and hosted many events centered around discussing LGBT issues.

    Also telling was that the university president offered her th opportunity to return on the condition that she work with university officials to address the concerns. That means the issue was not that her views conflicted with her job but that they placed the university in an awkward position. Perhaps they need to publicize the views of all of the universities employees in order to weed out those with views that do not fall in line with the politically correct model.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Gay white men trump deaf African-American female diversicrats in the PC hierarchy.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Gay white men trump deaf African-American female diversicrats in the PC hierarchy.

  • Pete

    Two thumbs up to sg @7!

  • Pete

    Two thumbs up to sg @7!

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.@3:

    Let me see if I understand your logic: Opponents of homosexual marriage need not worry about losing their jobs as a result of their views.

    …even though this story is precisely about someone who (allegedly) lost her job as a result of her views.

    Well, I’m convinced. If I just close my eyes tightly and imagine that everything is ok, it must be ok.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.@3:

    Let me see if I understand your logic: Opponents of homosexual marriage need not worry about losing their jobs as a result of their views.

    …even though this story is precisely about someone who (allegedly) lost her job as a result of her views.

    Well, I’m convinced. If I just close my eyes tightly and imagine that everything is ok, it must be ok.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @13

    Great point.

    And what was her view?

    That people should be allowed to vote on a policy. The opposition says that there are certain rights that cannot be abolished by popular vote. Indeed. Our forebears codified those rights in the Bill of Rights and last I checked that Bill of Rights has not formally been repealed. Also, the right of same sex persons to marry each other is not one of those rights and free speech, and participation in politics are among them.

    It looks like she has the makings of a SCOTUS case. She should sue.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @13

    Great point.

    And what was her view?

    That people should be allowed to vote on a policy. The opposition says that there are certain rights that cannot be abolished by popular vote. Indeed. Our forebears codified those rights in the Bill of Rights and last I checked that Bill of Rights has not formally been repealed. Also, the right of same sex persons to marry each other is not one of those rights and free speech, and participation in politics are among them.

    It looks like she has the makings of a SCOTUS case. She should sue.

  • Joe

    Here’s my take — a purely private employer should be able to fire a person for just about any dang reason they want including exercising their First Amendment rights. The First Amendment protects you from the GOVERNMENT not from other private actors.

    Now, I also think would be incredibly stupid for a business to limit its potential labor pool by firing people for signing a petition. But in some cases, given the culture or mission of the employer, it might make sense.

    The problem here is that the employer in question takes federal funding and thus — in a way — has become the government and I can guarantee you the university’s lawyers are already building the “the firing was not based on the signing of the petition but upon various other factors” narrative.

  • Joe

    Here’s my take — a purely private employer should be able to fire a person for just about any dang reason they want including exercising their First Amendment rights. The First Amendment protects you from the GOVERNMENT not from other private actors.

    Now, I also think would be incredibly stupid for a business to limit its potential labor pool by firing people for signing a petition. But in some cases, given the culture or mission of the employer, it might make sense.

    The problem here is that the employer in question takes federal funding and thus — in a way — has become the government and I can guarantee you the university’s lawyers are already building the “the firing was not based on the signing of the petition but upon various other factors” narrative.

  • fjsteve

    She should sue. Let the court, and the country, hear the story of the deaf African-American woman who got run out on a rail by political correctness. The President should be the one worried about his job, not her. And what of the “faculty members” who filed a complaint? Will their names be published?

  • fjsteve

    She should sue. Let the court, and the country, hear the story of the deaf African-American woman who got run out on a rail by political correctness. The President should be the one worried about his job, not her. And what of the “faculty members” who filed a complaint? Will their names be published?

  • kerner

    Joe:

    Gaudelet is not a privte employer. It is a federally funded institution., at least according to this post. Therefore its employees have constitutional protections.

  • kerner

    Joe:

    Gaudelet is not a privte employer. It is a federally funded institution., at least according to this post. Therefore its employees have constitutional protections.

  • fjsteve

    We had similar things happen out here in California where the names of thousands of signers to Proposition 8 petitions were published on the internet and many of those people faced discrimination and intimidation.

    Will, as Michael B. states, there be no recrimination against those who speak out against gay marriage? The evidence shows very differently.

  • fjsteve

    We had similar things happen out here in California where the names of thousands of signers to Proposition 8 petitions were published on the internet and many of those people faced discrimination and intimidation.

    Will, as Michael B. states, there be no recrimination against those who speak out against gay marriage? The evidence shows very differently.

  • kerner

    oops, I see you noticed that already. And you are correct.

  • kerner

    oops, I see you noticed that already. And you are correct.

  • fjsteve

    No need to wonder why so many blog posters use alias names.

  • fjsteve

    No need to wonder why so many blog posters use alias names.

  • kerner

    fjsteve:
    “And what of the “faculty members” who filed a complaint? Will their names be published?”

    You know, depending how associated with the federal government the University is, that information may be public record and subject to an open records/FOIA request. So maybe their names could be discovered and published.

  • kerner

    fjsteve:
    “And what of the “faculty members” who filed a complaint? Will their names be published?”

    You know, depending how associated with the federal government the University is, that information may be public record and subject to an open records/FOIA request. So maybe their names could be discovered and published.

  • WebMonk

    JenSny – something like that did happen. The topic wasn’t homosexuality and it didn’t even violate the Statement of Fait, but the faculty were publicly reprimanded and were forced out in some cases. A bunch of other faculty quit in support.

    The school scrambled for a while, and Mike Farris was convinced to step down from being President. One benefit was that our host, Dr. Veith was eventually hired on there!

    They have done a LOT of improvements in governance over the last several years. Those first five or six years were wild and crazy in a lot of ways, and things have settled down a lot since then.

    What would happen now? Probably they would be fired.

  • WebMonk

    JenSny – something like that did happen. The topic wasn’t homosexuality and it didn’t even violate the Statement of Fait, but the faculty were publicly reprimanded and were forced out in some cases. A bunch of other faculty quit in support.

    The school scrambled for a while, and Mike Farris was convinced to step down from being President. One benefit was that our host, Dr. Veith was eventually hired on there!

    They have done a LOT of improvements in governance over the last several years. Those first five or six years were wild and crazy in a lot of ways, and things have settled down a lot since then.

    What would happen now? Probably they would be fired.

  • http://strikingroot.blogspot.com Benjamin Keil

    A correction (which applies to the title of the post itself): She wasn’t *fired* for her views – she was placed on paid administrative leave. I recognize that the difference is subtle, but if she had been fired she’d probably sue for wrongful termination (and likely win). But since she hasn’t been fired, her legal options are a bit more limited.

    (It’s no less troubling that one is placed on administrative leave for her political/moral views rather than being fired, but accuracy is important. She hasn’t been fired).

    ~Benjamin

  • http://strikingroot.blogspot.com Benjamin Keil

    A correction (which applies to the title of the post itself): She wasn’t *fired* for her views – she was placed on paid administrative leave. I recognize that the difference is subtle, but if she had been fired she’d probably sue for wrongful termination (and likely win). But since she hasn’t been fired, her legal options are a bit more limited.

    (It’s no less troubling that one is placed on administrative leave for her political/moral views rather than being fired, but accuracy is important. She hasn’t been fired).

    ~Benjamin

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    On the other hand, why does a university need a “diversity officer?”

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    On the other hand, why does a university need a “diversity officer?”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    On the other hand, why does a university need a “diversity officer?”

    Safety

    like the Committee for Public Safety or the Safe Schools Project:

    http://www.texascivilrightsproject.org/?page_id=484

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    On the other hand, why does a university need a “diversity officer?”

    Safety

    like the Committee for Public Safety or the Safe Schools Project:

    http://www.texascivilrightsproject.org/?page_id=484

  • helen

    sg @ 7
    Objectively speaking, there is no case for it, but by the bandwagon theory of truth, all you have to do is tell kids something is true; they grow up believing it; and voila, it’s true because people say it is. Of course by this method, we can assert that the earth is flat …

    The “Flat Earth Society” is not entrenched in our school system and isn’t likely to be. The ["liberal" crowd] has achieved dominance.

  • helen

    sg @ 7
    Objectively speaking, there is no case for it, but by the bandwagon theory of truth, all you have to do is tell kids something is true; they grow up believing it; and voila, it’s true because people say it is. Of course by this method, we can assert that the earth is flat …

    The “Flat Earth Society” is not entrenched in our school system and isn’t likely to be. The ["liberal" crowd] has achieved dominance.

  • helen

    fjsteve @ 16
    Let the court, and the country, hear the story of the deaf African-American woman who got run out on a rail by political correctness.
    The really weird part is that her job is enforcing PC among the students there! (“If you hear anything said that is derogatory toward [here follows a list... color, ethnicity, sex in all forms...] call this number.)
    Islam may have been included…. Christianity is not, on these “lists”.

  • helen

    fjsteve @ 16
    Let the court, and the country, hear the story of the deaf African-American woman who got run out on a rail by political correctness.
    The really weird part is that her job is enforcing PC among the students there! (“If you hear anything said that is derogatory toward [here follows a list... color, ethnicity, sex in all forms...] call this number.)
    Islam may have been included…. Christianity is not, on these “lists”.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 26 Yes, is right and why Christian education is more important than ever. Children are learning that they have to believe the progressive “truth” else they will be punished. No free thought or dissent allowed.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 26 Yes, is right and why Christian education is more important than ever. Children are learning that they have to believe the progressive “truth” else they will be punished. No free thought or dissent allowed.

  • helen

    I should have said that my parenthetical remark is a true story, but does not refer to Gallaudet’s practice, that I know of.

  • helen

    I should have said that my parenthetical remark is a true story, but does not refer to Gallaudet’s practice, that I know of.

  • helen

    sg @ 28
    I remember telling one of my children to write on an exam, “The books says ….” Or ” in class the teacher told us….”
    when he and I agreed that the “right” answer was wrong by the catechism. [You have to choose your battles; we were at the administrator's office over other things.] :(

  • helen

    sg @ 28
    I remember telling one of my children to write on an exam, “The books says ….” Or ” in class the teacher told us….”
    when he and I agreed that the “right” answer was wrong by the catechism. [You have to choose your battles; we were at the administrator's office over other things.] :(

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The only valid consideration here is whether Gallaudet is a private or public university. Everything hinges on that.

    I must admit, I find the answer a wee bit confusing. According to Wikipedia:

    The university and the Department of Education explain that Gallaudet has been structured by the Federal Government to take the form of a “federally chartered, private, non-profit educational institution.” … “Gallaudet receives the bulk of its income in the form of an annual appropriation from Congress, and the Department of Education oversees the University’s appropriation for the Federal government.”

    I mean, the GAO calls it a “private nonprofit educational institution” (see p.125 there), but then again, there’s a reason the GAO is talking about it in the first place, which tends to make it seem more public, no?

    Anyhow, as to Veith’s question, “Should citizens be in jeopardy for their employment for exercising their political rights?” I would hope that we would all agree that the answer is “Yes, in a private setting, but no in a public one.”

    But those here who appear to be protesting this move without regard for the private or public nature of the university seem, ironically, to be clamoring for a government-enforced version of political correctness. So that’s rich.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    The only valid consideration here is whether Gallaudet is a private or public university. Everything hinges on that.

    I must admit, I find the answer a wee bit confusing. According to Wikipedia:

    The university and the Department of Education explain that Gallaudet has been structured by the Federal Government to take the form of a “federally chartered, private, non-profit educational institution.” … “Gallaudet receives the bulk of its income in the form of an annual appropriation from Congress, and the Department of Education oversees the University’s appropriation for the Federal government.”

    I mean, the GAO calls it a “private nonprofit educational institution” (see p.125 there), but then again, there’s a reason the GAO is talking about it in the first place, which tends to make it seem more public, no?

    Anyhow, as to Veith’s question, “Should citizens be in jeopardy for their employment for exercising their political rights?” I would hope that we would all agree that the answer is “Yes, in a private setting, but no in a public one.”

    But those here who appear to be protesting this move without regard for the private or public nature of the university seem, ironically, to be clamoring for a government-enforced version of political correctness. So that’s rich.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I agree with tODD. That’s the right way for a libertarian to think.

    Of course, a libertarian would prefer not to have any government funded education at all.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    I agree with tODD. That’s the right way for a libertarian to think.

    Of course, a libertarian would prefer not to have any government funded education at all.

  • fjsteve

    tODD,

    But those here who appear to be protesting this move without regard for the private or public nature of the university seem, ironically, to be clamoring for a government-enforced version of political correctness. So that’s rich.

    Are you assuming some here are protesting “without regard for the private or public nature of this university”? Isn’t it reasonable to take the original post’s claim that Gallaudet is a “federally-funded college for the deaf” at face value?

  • fjsteve

    tODD,

    But those here who appear to be protesting this move without regard for the private or public nature of the university seem, ironically, to be clamoring for a government-enforced version of political correctness. So that’s rich.

    Are you assuming some here are protesting “without regard for the private or public nature of this university”? Isn’t it reasonable to take the original post’s claim that Gallaudet is a “federally-funded college for the deaf” at face value?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FJSteve (@33), again, it appears that the first comment here that takes into consideration the public/private nature of the university, as it pertains to the correctness of its action, is Joe’s (@15).

    Said consideration is notably lacking from the phrasing of Veith’s question:

    Should citizens be in jeopardy for their employment for exercising their political rights?

    It’s also lacking from Andy’s statement (@5) that:

    McCaskill should be free to exercise freedom of speech though and continue her work as the diversity officer, especially if her signing of the petition was related to a political view and not an anti-gay bias.

    And from Patrick Kyle’s comment (@6) which reads, in toto:

    Should citizens be in jeopardy for their employment for exercising their political rights? No, but it is fast becoming a reality.

    Or from JenSny’s comment (@8):

    …maybe the question really should be does Gaullaudet vett their staff and ask them to endorse a specific ideology? If not then they should not have fired her.

    Shall I continue?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    FJSteve (@33), again, it appears that the first comment here that takes into consideration the public/private nature of the university, as it pertains to the correctness of its action, is Joe’s (@15).

    Said consideration is notably lacking from the phrasing of Veith’s question:

    Should citizens be in jeopardy for their employment for exercising their political rights?

    It’s also lacking from Andy’s statement (@5) that:

    McCaskill should be free to exercise freedom of speech though and continue her work as the diversity officer, especially if her signing of the petition was related to a political view and not an anti-gay bias.

    And from Patrick Kyle’s comment (@6) which reads, in toto:

    Should citizens be in jeopardy for their employment for exercising their political rights? No, but it is fast becoming a reality.

    Or from JenSny’s comment (@8):

    …maybe the question really should be does Gaullaudet vett their staff and ask them to endorse a specific ideology? If not then they should not have fired her.

    Shall I continue?

  • kerner

    tODD and Mike:

    While Ms. McCaskill may not have as strong a Civil Rights Action against Gallaudet as she would if it were a State University, she probably has an express or implied employment contract under Maryland law (whatever that may be) and she may have valid claim for wrongful discharge or breach of contract, or ever defamation of character, if she is ultimately fired or further sanctioned.

    It is true that an individual does not have the same rights against a private employer as he/she has against the government. But individuals and private entities do have rights against, and duties to, each other under the law. Whether some private right of Ms. McCaskill’s has been violated, and whether any of Gallaudet’s duties to her have been breached, are questions of Maryland state law as well as Constitutional law. But I don’t know anything about the law of that jurisdiction, nor do we know the terms of Ms. McCaskill’s employment relationship with Gallaudet.

  • kerner

    tODD and Mike:

    While Ms. McCaskill may not have as strong a Civil Rights Action against Gallaudet as she would if it were a State University, she probably has an express or implied employment contract under Maryland law (whatever that may be) and she may have valid claim for wrongful discharge or breach of contract, or ever defamation of character, if she is ultimately fired or further sanctioned.

    It is true that an individual does not have the same rights against a private employer as he/she has against the government. But individuals and private entities do have rights against, and duties to, each other under the law. Whether some private right of Ms. McCaskill’s has been violated, and whether any of Gallaudet’s duties to her have been breached, are questions of Maryland state law as well as Constitutional law. But I don’t know anything about the law of that jurisdiction, nor do we know the terms of Ms. McCaskill’s employment relationship with Gallaudet.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@35), such a lawyer’s answer. Sure, there’s an actual legal case here, and I am not pretending to be Ms. McCaskill’s attorney.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@35), such a lawyer’s answer. Sure, there’s an actual legal case here, and I am not pretending to be Ms. McCaskill’s attorney.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    “Do you believe those who oppose gay marriage, including pastors and churches, will be tolerated once gay marriage becomes the law of the land?”

    NO..
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    “Do you believe those who oppose gay marriage, including pastors and churches, will be tolerated once gay marriage becomes the law of the land?”

    NO..
    C-CS

  • fjsteve

    tODD,

    I’ll concede your point on adding the word “citizen” in there. It seemed to me that most people were speaking of this in light of the claim that the school was federally-funded. But, to your point, I’ll add Scalia’s remarks in the ruling on whether the state of Washington could withhold referendum petition signers’ names from the public in cases where it may lead to threat and intimidation:

    it may even be a bad idea to keep petition signatures secret. There are laws against threats and intimidation; and harsh criticism, short of unlawful action, is a price ourpeople have traditionally been willing to pay for self-governance. Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which, thanks to the Supreme Court, campaigns anonymously (McIntyre) and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave.

  • fjsteve

    tODD,

    I’ll concede your point on adding the word “citizen” in there. It seemed to me that most people were speaking of this in light of the claim that the school was federally-funded. But, to your point, I’ll add Scalia’s remarks in the ruling on whether the state of Washington could withhold referendum petition signers’ names from the public in cases where it may lead to threat and intimidation:

    it may even be a bad idea to keep petition signatures secret. There are laws against threats and intimidation; and harsh criticism, short of unlawful action, is a price ourpeople have traditionally been willing to pay for self-governance. Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed. For my part, I do not look forward to a society which, thanks to the Supreme Court, campaigns anonymously (McIntyre) and even exercises the direct democracy of initiative and referendum hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave.

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