McCaskill anti-gay marriage ad runs

Timothy Kincaid

October 17th, 2012

As anticipated, the paid suspension of Dr. Angela McCaskill from her job as Chief Diversity Officer has been the feature of an ad opposing Question Six:

So far, McCaskill has had nothing to say about the anti-gay campaign’s use of her image. That is not to say that she doesn’t care about her image – quite the contrary (WaPo)

The president of Gallaudet University said Tuesday that the chief diversity officer who was put on administrative leave after signing an anti-gay marriage petition is welcome to eventually return to her position.

But an attorney representing Angela McCaskill said that would likely only happen if the university compensates McCaskill for the emotional distress she endured, along with the damage to her reputation.

But I guess being the face of the campaign to take away the marriage rights granted by the legislature does not do any damage to her reputation. Or none that she cares about.


They promised us Question Six protects people who oppose gay marriage. But it doesn’t.

Dr. Angela McCaskill is an official at Gallaudet University. She signed the petition putting Question Six on the ballot. Then she was suspended from her job.

She’s not alone. When marriage was redefined elsewhere – as Question Six does – people who believe in traditional marriage have been punished. They were threatened. He was fired. They were sued. Who will be next?

We’re all at risk under Question Six.

Bose in St. Peter MN

October 17th, 2012

The last word directly from the University yesterday: …released a statement saying it wants to talk to McCaskill about reaching an agreement that could lead to her reinstatement.

Which is an unusual statement to make publicly, unless McCaskill was stalling on scheduling such a meeting.

Her press conference yesterday suggested she believes she has more to gain by courting public opinion than working directly with the University for a resolution. There was no mention of talking with President Hurwitz since the administrative leave was announced.

The legal analysis seems clear that an employee can’t be penalized for personal civic activity. If pressed, though, why wouldn’t Gallaudet argue in court that it does have the right to manage its employees, and that a short-term paid administrative leave is not a grievous punishment? And then, if an employee is unduly delaying or obstructing requests to meet with the employer, the administrative leave becomes irrelevant, because on leave or not, employees don’t get to skirt all meeting requests from their employer.

The oddest thing, to me, remains that Dr. McCaskill’s appearance in this ad, and more generally in the public circus here, could easily mean the end of a career as a university officer, or for any work related to diversity. Universities look for professionalism which includes grace under fire and even-handed negotiating and problem solving skills at this level.

If reinstatement isn’t negotiated at Gallaudet, other employers are likely to assume that an amicable resolution was squandered in favor of spiking an anti-gay political crusade.


October 17th, 2012

Why shouldn’t the university have a claim in arguing that this lady is not qualified for the position she was filling?


October 17th, 2012


Because they already admitted, that until finding out about this signing of the petition, she HAD done her job, and very well. She was a vocal and active supporter of lgbt issues at the school, as well as in her other diversity areas. It is hard to argue that someone who had been doing their job up to the standards of the school, is now all of a sdden un qualified to do the job, simply because she acted on her Constitutionally mandated right to participate in civic matters as a citizen. I personally find it very disconcerting that she is in trouble for doing what she has every right to do, and had NOT impacted her job untill someone else looked her name up and caused a commotion. People should have every expectation to engage in political activity without fear of loosing their job. We would be screamming bloddy murder, and DO, when someone looses their job because they are gay. This lady broke no laws, and broke no rules of the school, and as such, should not be in any trouble whatesoever. It’s a shame that people want their own equality to do and act as they wish, but would try to deny that to someone else. This is STILL America, where this kind of stuff should not be happening. It reeks of McCarthyism at it’s worse.


October 17th, 2012

False analogy, Robert. She wasn’t suspended for being black or Christian or a woman or any other protected class. She was suspended for her actions, actions that put her in direct conflict with her job. We wouldn’t be screaming bloody murder if a NOM employee lost their job because they signed a petition supporting marriage equality. It would be perfectly reasonable, in fact. (And by the way, firing someone for being gay is legal in most states).
This woman is no friend of gay people, unquestionably, and will almost certainly be speaking at NOM rallies just as soon as she gets her payday.
This ad is exactly what I feared. They don’t say what McCaskill’s position at the university was. They don’t say the proponents of marriage equality in Maryland protested the suspension. They fill the last bit with vague platitudes. But they absolutely will win in three weeks. This was definitely a case of not seeing the forest for the trees and an even stronger argument that we will only truly get this done in the courts. However, if Romney wins, all hope is lost for a generation at least.


October 17th, 2012

We just lost Maryland. We weren’t going to win Minnesota. Maine and Washington, who knows? It depends on how far and wide this story spreads. McCaskill is very clearly game for doing what she can to make sure marriage equality will fail. She hasn’t denounced NOM’s ad, and the more she plays victim, the bigger payout she’ll get and the gay students at the school are completely beyond her consideration. This is extremely bad. The only thing that might save us in WA and MA is the fact that the election is dominating the media coverage.


October 17th, 2012

She compromised Gallaudet’s commitment to diversity when she signed that petition. For that reason, the school has not just a right to withdraw her, but probably a duty to do it.

She has made it difficult for the school to defend itself in court.

If Gallaudet was ever sued for discrimination, especially by a student, and the plaintiff could show that while she was the school’s chief diversity officer she signed this petition, the fact would seriously discredit her testimony in court. Perhaps destroy it.

Worse, that the school kept her in the position after this fact was known would discredit, or destroy, the school’s claim to be serious about diversity and committed to enforcing its requirements.


October 17th, 2012

Robert, Sandusky was deemed to be doing his job well until people dug deeper.

She just gave lip service on campus, but privately campaigned against the benefit of those very people she was pretending to advocate for.

This isn’t a freedom of speech issue — this is whether LGBT people feel like she represents them. She does not.


October 17th, 2012

So gay marriage causes employees to be punished if they oppose gay marriage. And the proof is a case in MD, where there is no gay marriage. The other proof offered in a recent ad produced by Frank Schubert was a case in ME in 2009, where there also was no gay marriage. Gay marriage is such a powerful cause of employer-employee disputes that it causes them even when it doesn’t exist.

Schubert depends on voters being so completely clueless, so unable to parse through an argument and is counting on them reacting unthinkingly.


October 17th, 2012

Doesn’t it seem strange that with every one of these initiatives, someone on our side does something like this that hands our opponents their winning talking point on a platter.

The class of students in San Francisco who went to their teacher’s same sex wedding during school hours and with the consent of their parents. Wonderful gesture but extremely damaging to our campaign against Prop 8.

The mayors who threatened to block CFA from opening restaurants in their cities. Again, they meant well but they turned a story about an anti-company supporting anti-gay causes into a full throttle firestorm about gay people stomping on First Amendment Rights, even though it wasn’t gay people who were doing the threatening.

Gavin Newsom declaring “Like it or not…” AGAIN, what he said was true and well meaning but it became an instant and effective pro-Prop 8 ad.

People on our side need to eventually figure out that 1) what feels good isn’t always the thing that’s effective or in our best interest and 2) timing is everything!

I’m pretty sure that we can now write off a win in Maryland which seemed likely to go our way before this debacle.


October 18th, 2012

@TampaZeke. I’m with you on this. The faculty members who complained about Dr. McCaskill could have waited until after the election to make their complaint. They would have accomplished their same goal of getting rid of her without making it an issue in the campaign.

Further, I am not convinced she has given her consent to appear in this ad. Does it cross anyone’s mind that her lawyer may be advising her to stay out of the limelight, or may be working behind the scenes to have the ad taken down? Or exploring the possibility of filing a suit against NOM for damages caused by the ad?

I note the ad includes images from what I believe are the two pastors who made ads in favor of marriage equality. Do any of us think they gave their consent to appear in this ad?

And does anyone know sign language who can interpret what she is signing in the videos?


October 18th, 2012

Thank you Zeke.

jpeck – she doesn’t have to give her approval to the ad – it’s a matter of public record and a news story. but would you blame her if she did? from her perspective, she voiced her opinion and they wolves came out after her and tried to take her livelihood.

the sad truth is that the substance of the ad is absolutely 100% true.

Regan DuCasse

October 18th, 2012

These anti gay factions have truly jumped the gun.
Her ‘punishment’ isn’t that severe and is still being decided. More likely in her favor.
This happens a lot, where regardless of advancing hyperbole, a situation that’s hasn’t reached a conclusion yet, is still used to damage the credibility of what tolerance means.
Remember that man who went through a Chik Fil A drive thru and berated the counter girl?
HE was fired, and his issue WAS a 1st amendment one, where HE wasn’t engaging in taking AWAY anyone’s rights or trying to get that girl fired.
He WAS expressing a view.
And you didn’t hear anyone defend the 1st on that man’s behalf.

Our side takes FAR more casualties than the CLAIMS made by the anti gay.
They are SO eager, and exaggerate what happens to them, that the truth is an even sorrier casualty of the whole damn issue.


October 18th, 2012

Maryland was looking particularly good for us. Has their been any polling of late to see what this issue has done to the chances of equality passing?


October 18th, 2012


You sound a lot like a member of NOM or AFA using a sex predator case as comparrison Uand such a falsity in your description of the Sandusky case, who, by multiple reports, was found to not be doing his job correctly, but had it covered up. What a crock). I see the tactics of the far right are easily available for use.

You claim a desire for equality, but given the honest chance to give it, you would rather exact vengence.

I’ve never been ashamed of BEING gay, but sometimes I’m ashamed that those I am associated with look more for vengence and an eye for an eye than honest equality.

Equality means you don’t hang people for the same things you complain about them doing to you.

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