Gallaudet University’s Diversity Officer Not Really A Fan Of Diverse People

  tone deaf

Gaaasp!Not all is well at Gallaudet University, D.C.’s college for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The problem is from Dr. Angela McCaskill, GU’s associate provost of diversity and inclusion — she’s got an ax to grind, rather inconveniently for her, with diversity and inclusion.

Though the GU president is on video describing McCaskill as a “long-time devoted advocate of social justice and equity causes,” it recently came out that McCaskill signed a petition against Maryland’s gay-marriage law, coming up as a ballot measure in November.

How could this happen? How could the same lady who, as the Washington Post explains, “helped to open a resource center on campus for sexual minorities,” have views against gay marriage? You will never, ever guess her reason.

Just kidding. It’s church.

Planet Deafqueer (YES it’s real shut up) broke the news Oct. 8 that she had signed the petition:

When confronted by the faculty member, Dr. McCaskill confirmed that she had in fact signed the petition and explained that she had done so while at church, after her preacher had preached against gay marriage. As she was leaving, her husband pointed to the petition and she signed it without giving it further thought.

In case any Gallaudet U students missed any of that: Your diversity officer — the person at the school charged with protecting and promoting equality — signed a little paper that says some folks just aren’t quite equal, because somebody with an old book and a robe convinced her that tradition was more important than your civil rights.

Now, we are left with kind of a sticky situation, on account of McCaskill is allowed to have opinions, even if they are not so good for inclusion, and even if that is what she is in charge of. She’s been put on paid leave until the administration can figure out what the hell to do with her, and how to find their footing on this, the slipperiest of slopes, as detailed in a Baltimore Sun editorial:

Might someone consider it inappropriate if a chief diversity officer registered as a Republican, since that party’s platform opposes gay marriage? What if she had donated money to Mitt Romney? Could the Catholic Church start cracking down on priests who register as Democrats, given that party’s support for gay marriage and abortion rights?

Indeed! And what if a lemonade salesman believed in, say, fruit punch? Or a member of the House Science Committee thinks science is actually “lies”? Should we punish those people? No, probably not, because this is America, where we have the freedom to believe things. Fortunately, that also applies to believing that all those folks are probably awful at their jobs.

One group that agrees McCaskill should keep her job? The Family Research Council, which has, as it does, come out with a petition for her reinstatement. Believe what you want, they say, you shouldn’t be fired for that. That’s freedom! Unless you’re gay, of course, then it’s our FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT to fire you. Just ask your local diversity officer. [WaPo]

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201 comments

      1. memzilla

        That is better.

        Speaking as a straight old white guy, my one prejudice about teh gheys is this: Whether Man or Woman, They Throw The Best Parties.

        No, seriously, they do. Even if you're straight. Especially if you're straight. If you meet a non-ghey woman at such a party, well, it's not like you've got a lot of competition. And by definition, both of you must be open-minded and tolerant and reasonably fun to have around (It's the Ghey Filtering®).

        1. gullywompr

          Take me to the next one!

          Now, if you call the straight, opposite-sex companion of a gay person a "beard", what do you call two straight guys that go to gay parties to pick up women?

        2. MittBorg

          And if they move into your neighbourhood, you can pretty much guarantee YOUR property value goes up. Have you checked out your local Swish Alps?

          Dykes too. They're more likely to be handywomen and pretty up their houses.

  1. UnholyMoses

    "Being gay is a choice, you see, whereas religion is something you're born with!"
    – Every religious fucknut since forever

    1. MacRaith

      Which is why, in their eyes, Obama is a Muslim, even though his father appears to have been an atheist by the time Obama was conceived, and even though Obama's mother was raised Unitarian. Obama can't possibly have become a Christian with a pedigree like that!

    2. elviouslyqueer

      You jest, but I heard this exact thing in our Sunday school class last week.* This was, of course, the culmination of a rather spirited exchange that followed my loudly calling bullshit on said class leaders' explanation that "Christians aren't like Muslims. We don't have extremists."

      *Yes, EQ regularly attends church with his hubby in tow. Apologies in advance for blowing minds.

      1. MittBorg

        And your poor hubby goes along, all cooperative? What are you putting in his booze? Mine has a screaming shit fit when I play Christmas carols. Atheistic bastid.

      2. Jukesgrrl

        My mind didn't splode. An utterly charming article in Slate covering the first gay marriage in the military said that couple MET in church. Apparently they were both still trying to pray away the gay even after they were divorced from their lady-spouses. But they clapped eyes on each other and … POW. They gave up their unwinnable war and fell into each others arms. With the support of their rather conservative minister and fellow church members, who could see that they were meant for each other. Their kids all get along great, too. So the blended family spent their "familymoon" at Disney World. Sweet, huh?

          1. Jukesgrrl

            I hate DW with a passion, but Disney was one of the first corporations to allow LGBT employees to include their partners in spousal benefits.So I'm OK when kids like it.

    3. Yellerdawg

      Being the only Liberal within twenty miles of where ever I'm standing in Texas, I'm a fairly regular target of (mostly good-natured) challenges. One such; I walked across the street to talk to two neighbors, men I had known for long enough to come out of the political closet with, and the first thing one of them said was, "You know being gay is a choice, right?" I went back with, "So if the right guy came along, you'd switch teams? 'Cause I don't think I could do that." Shut him up quick.

      1. UnholyMoses

        Also: Ask him (or anyone else) this:

        "A choice? really? Okay … so when did you choose to be straight?"

        That also works.

  2. BaldarTFlagass

    "One group that agrees McCaskill should keep her job? The Family Research Council, which has, as it does, come out with a petition for her reinstatement. Believe what you want, they say, you shouldn’t be fired for that. That’s freedom!"

    My guess is that the Family Research Council also circulated one of these petitions for that gay foreign policy advisor that Mitt shitcanned at the behest of Bryan Fischer.

    1. Mumbletypeg

      Jeebus mentioned gay people,like never

      He did, however, affirm his affection for gaity, wine and song among, yes, even disabled folks when he made wine at the wedding in Cana said to that one guy with a grin, "Here's mud in your eye!"

      1. sbj1964

        Jesus,Never messed with the ladies,liked to wash other men's feet,walked around saying A-men,had father issues,got bitchy with his mother,claimed to be a fisher of men,and lets not forget about the 12 boyfriends.

  3. One_who_wanders

    Sheesh. These people.
    The pro-equality groups have rolled out ads featuring pastors of churches saying that the law would protect religious freedom.

  4. BadKitty904

    "without giving it further thought." Sermons make me sleepy, too, but, um, isn't that kinda what she's paid to think about?

    1. MosesInvests

      I don't know how people with Lou Gehrig's Disease say it, but my 17-year-old Deaf son uses the same sign you'd use.

    2. shelwood46

      The way I was taught is: you make V-signs (like peace signs, hippie) with both hands, then bang them together like two people humping. Do that once, like you mean it, that's the "fuck" part. Then just follow that up by pointing at whoever you want to be "you".

        1. shelwood46

          Try it once my way. There's something quite satisfying about smashing your hands together then pointing and glaring at the other person.

  5. BaldarTFlagass

    They should have one of these special universities for blind gay people as well as deaf gay people. I mean, ugly gay people need love too.

      1. Biff

        The closest thing I have to a girlfriend is blind. Mercifully, she lost her sight relatively late in life, and remembers me from when I was still young, thin, had all my hair and teef, etc…

          1. MittBorg

            Oh, hush, she sees the goodness within. (Hugs you again)

            What do you use for muscular spasms, dude? I'm dyin' here and need to rummage through the drogas in a minnit.

          2. Biff

            Baclofen. The good stuff. For less bothersome routine muscular stuff, Flexeril. Hope you have some, if not, better get some. Get better!

  6. Tommmcatt_Again

    It's not a state-sponsored school, right? Then suck it, right-tards, they can fire her for anything they want, as long as it isn't because she's a member of a protected class.

    She'll probably sue because bigotry is a tenet of her religious beliefs, but still.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Judging from all their recent whining, it sounds like the fundies have been shooting for "protected class" status.

    2. MittBorg

      Hey, it's my Tommmcatt back again! (Hugs you)

      Have I mentioned it's great to see you, baby? How you doing?

      ETA: Oh, yeah, what I was GOING to say is, she's black and female. Protected classes.

      1. Tommmcatt_Again

        Nice to see you too, mon brave! I finally figured out what my password was.

        She'd have to prove that the firing was related to her race or gender. Not sure that applies here.

  7. MosesInvests

    From what I can tell from my son, who is a student at Model Secondary School for the Deaf, on the Gallaudet campus, a lot of students at Gally are plenty pissed off about this, straight as well as ghey.
    EDIT: Gally alumni also, too.

    1. BadKitty904

      As any freedom-loving American *should* be. Points for them.
      Sorry, this is not a topic I can snark on easily – it just makes me so sad. :(

    2. Cicada

      I like going to bars and restaurants on the H St corridor, which is where a lot of Gallaudet students go on the weekends. My experience in chatting (via smartphone notepad app) with Gallaudet students has been that they're like young people everywhere: more tolerant and open on social issues than the older generation.

      Related side note: I have learned how to sign "shot" and "beer" in ASL.

  8. Toomush_Infer

    When religious groups start circulating petitions regarding specific laws and advocating specific voting positions or providing funding to influence elections or statutes, shouldn't they have to relinquish their 501c3 status and become 501c4's – the political non-profit type of IRS designation that has to pay taxes? Just askin'….

    1. UnholyMoses

      In reality, yes. The IRS should crack down on that.

      In this reality? No. Churches can do whatever they want because if the IRS were to crack down on that, the rightwing would lose. it's. shit. After all, they think Obama is a socialfascistastic Muslim as it is, no matter evidence to the contrary.

      Now think what'd happen if the IRS started revoking tax-exempt status as the law demands.

      Yeah. It'd be ugly.

      1. Yellerdawg

        I grew up Baptist in a moderate church. My childhood church pastor lamented the rise of fundamentalism openly. I remember the last time I ever set foot in a Baptist sanctuary, Second Baptist in Houston, in the weeks leading up to Bush 1 vs. Clinton. Pastor Ed Young gave the ENTIRE sermon over the election, the piety of the Republican party, the evils of Democrats and concluded with, "I don't see how anyone can call themselves a Democrat and still call themselves Christian." I remember thinking "I think I have just been dismissed." Walked out and never walked back in.

    1. PsycWench

      I was entertained by that addition to the story, like of course all of us Vagina-Americans do what our husbands order us to do, even if they only order with body language.

  9. Lascauxcaveman

    I had a similar problem when the university I worked for named me Vice Provost to Reduce Vice. They figured I was an expert on the subject, and …. well, they were right.

  10. Goonemeritus

    I know how she feels I almost joined the Moonies by accident in the 70’s because I was rushing to catch a train.

    1. kittensdontlie

      The magazine subscription I bought the other day from two well-dressed young men at my door, turned out to be my Mormon baptismal papers.

  11. SayItWithWookies

    It's a deaf trap!

    Srsly, her employer should judge her job performance based on her job performance. On the other hand, Galluadet has a reputation for pissing off its students — remember when students shut the place down because they had yet another in a long string of hearing presidents? It's really the rearguard in the fight to condescend to and mistreat those who aren't white, male and fully-abled.

    1. PugglesRule

      It's a suicide rap, you gotta get out while you're young…

      Oh… wrong song. Never mind.

      Waiting for Gallaudet students to go plodey.

    2. MittBorg

      How does this small group (straight rich old white fully-able men) get so many of us so fucked up trying to deal with their fuckery?

      The Director of Diversity is not supposed to be signing stuff that impairs diversity.

  12. TheGyrus

    Might someone consider it inappropriate if a chief diversity officer registered as a Republican

    I'm going with "yes."

    1. PugglesRule

      At least a sign of cognitive dissonance.

      I can relate. My transgender, gay teenager is a Republican. Seriously? Much easier for me to wrap my brain around the gay and trans stuff than why he could support a party whose platform is totally against him.

      1. MittBorg

        Oh, my dear. My poor, poor Puggles. I can live with gay, I can live with trans, I can even live with teenager, but a REPUBLICAN??? (Pats Puggles' back sympathetically)

      2. bobbert

        Young teenager? Both of my (boringly straight male) boychikls went through "I'm a Republican" at about age thirteen (nine or eleven years ago). I never figured out why. I didn't do anything other than remark that they were fucking idiots, but over the subsequent years they seem to have recovered.

  13. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    " As she was leaving, her husband pointed to the petition and she signed it without giving it further thought."

    Good little Christian, republican woman was just "submitting" to her husband like she's supposed to. I bet he snapped his fingers when he pointed.

    PS – I am feeling hatey today.

    1. BadKitty904

      I would feel hatey if this oh-so-tiresome bullshit didn't just make me sad. Sure, I know others have it *lots* worse, but being a second-class citizen here in the Land o' the Free and Home o' the Brave, based solely on who I am, gets pretty depressing…

      1. BadKitty904

        Sorry, guys. As I said, I don't snark well on this topic. I'll try to suck it up and get with the program…

      2. BigSkullF*ckingDog

        Tell me about it. Although I would be a lot more hatey if I actually had someone who wanted to marry me.

      3. MittBorg

        No comparing pain. Everybody's pain is the worst pain to them. C'mere, lemme give you a hug. It ain't much, but it might cheer you up. We're in this fight to win it, it ain't over by a long shot, and the fat lady looks like she ain't gonna sing before stomping some ass. So let's get out there and stomp some ass.

      1. Kid_Charlemagne

        Don't know for sure, but I suspect she is a baptist. The African-American Baptist church has been exceptionally loud in MD against gay marriage.

    2. Boojum

      This statement kind of destroys any First Amendment argument. She wasn't expressing an opinion or a belief. She was just doing what she was told.

  14. Oblios_Cap

    Could the Catholic Church start cracking down on priests who register as Democrats, given that party’s support for gay marriage and abortion rights?

    Actually, I think excommunication has been mentioned as a penalty for just that sorta thing.

  15. MacRaith

    For once, a snark-free post from me: If any of my fellow white straight hearing men would like to have a tiny taste of what it feels like to be a minority, a visit to the Gaulladet campus will give you that. It was a real eye-opener for me. I don't sign. Everyone else who was there did. Suddenly I was the deaf person.

    The difference, of course, being that I could walk away from that experience and go back to a world where people like me have every advantage.

    1. schvitzatura

      I'd much rather go to Montreal and deal with the lack of lingua franca…Tourtière and tire sur la neige, YUM!, in any language…

      Just as long as I could make it back to Amercia, right?

    2. MosesInvests

      Yeah, whenever I go to my son's school, *I* feel like the disabled person (I sign, but not well. It's really frustrating, especially since I'm usually good with languages. Something about a language that I can't hear. Argh.)

  16. deanbooth

    SNL, 1981:

    [ flashback to Bizarro President appointing his Cabinet ]
    Bizarro President: For Secretary of Interior, man who likes strip-mining and air pollution. For Secretary of Education, man who want to destroy department. For Secretary of State, scary man with morals of a styrofoam cup..
    [ blend back to the present-day ]
    Black House Aide #2: Him am incredible! Bizarro Americans all love him!

  17. glasspusher

    I'm still recovering from my mom's visit last month. She's a Catholic, and we went toe to toe several times on teh gheys. I still am amazed at how much time self described straight straight straight people spend thinking about ghey sechs. I'm doing my best to educate my son as to nothing's wrong between consenting adults. I'm fortunate to have a great friend and ex roomie who's ghey that I can trot out as a shining example.

    1. SayItWithWookies

      A neighbor of mine used that argument once — like, I wouldn't want them to get married because I don't want to imagine them having sex. I was dumbfounded — if that was the criterion, I wouldn't be letting most straight people get married either.

      1. glasspusher

        Really. I vividly, vividly remember finding a book “Where do babies come from?” in the library with my next door neighbor when we were in like 4th grade. We were shocked. I remember telling her that these people were clearly in love, because frankly I couldn't imagine doing anything more embarrassing. A couple of years later the hormones kicked in, and my perspective on the act changed dramatically! I think it's the same thing for folks who are repulsed by something that they aren't into. A little perspective, please, people.

      2. Biff

        As much as I would like to be having sex, I certainly don't want THAT image running around in my head. Oh, the huge manatee…

    2. Boojum

      Teh gheyz and their sexy times are brain worms for the closely closeted homophobes. Like ear worms, for fantasizing.

    3. DemmeFatale

      I think it's generational, too.
      I had a long talk with someone who is one of the world's foremost AIDs doctors, (leads huge international NGOs).
      He told me that his mother can't get her head around the gay marriage idea at all, and that friends her age can't come to terms with it.

      1. glasspusher

        I am happy to report that one of my mom's best friends was on our side of the fence, and I have a few friends my mom's age who are as well. Teh ghey has come from being a mental illness half a century ago to almost achieving parity with straights, so I can understand the greater intolerance of the older folks. Not condone, but understand. We're close, I can feel it.

        1. Jukesgrrl

          My mom's 86 and she's OK with it. She says it's for the same reason she's pro-choice, even though as a Catholic she thinks abortion is wrong: the U.S. isn't a theocracy. She doesn't believe she has any right to inflict her faith-based opinions on others.

          1. glasspusher

            Your mom sounds like she has her head screwed on very well. I have great respect for people who don't inflict their religion on others.

  18. prommie

    I'm just here because I am afraid to open the debate liveblog post. It put my laptop into cardiac arrest last time.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      Then don't do it then cause we want no heart attacks, no bad stuff, no nothing but sweetness and light. I love this day!

    2. Jukesgrrl

      Actually, the messed up problems we had the last time we had a 10-page-plus discussion didn't happen this time. Typing was a tad slowly for awhile. But my thoughts were all posted immediately and the pages up-dated with no problem. According to our Editrix, she worked with IntenseDebate to clear up some issues.

  19. Mittens Howell, III

    Hello. Diversity! We should have all kinds of diversity officers: respectful ones, racist ones, homophobes. And don't lock out the nose pickers, climate deniers, foot fetishists, dinosaur riders, Koran burners, and compulsive liars either (threw that last one in for Romney/Ryan, they might need a fallback career option soon.)

  20. Serolf_Divad

    Reminds me of the time I accidentally donated my house to the L. Ron Hubbard foundation because a guy with title transfer papers was collecting signatures outside my church. I was like: "Sign where? Here? Sure, whatevs."

  21. mrblifil

    Oh her husband pointed it out to her and she signed it "without thinking." Maybe she's just trying to save teh gheyz from having spouses who tell them what to do. I mean c'mon in gay couples the mansplaining gets doubled, ugh.

    Got a job title that suggests you work toward the advancement of progressive causes? A Christian fundamentalist would very much like to have that job, thank you very much.

  22. Mittens Howell, III

    At first I was like What The Fuck is that picture? but then I was like, It's Awesome is what The Fuck it is!

  23. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    When WA becomes the first state to have voter approved gay marriage I am going to gay marry myself and you are all invited to my kick ass reception.

    PS – my first choice would be to gay marry someone else, but BigDog is mostly hopelessly awkward and shy when it comes to the ladiez.

    1. BadKitty904

      Well, you certainly come across on here as articulate, witty, and a thoroughly good egg. So, there's that.

        1. emmelemm

          I don't recall you stuttering and avoiding eye contact at the drinky thingy. You seemed very charming. :)

          If I were gay, I'd gay marry you.

          1. BigSkullF*ckingDog

            Thanks Em, that's nice. I know you can't tell, but I'm totally avoiding eye contact right now.

            But you let me know if you ever decide to switch teams, cause its a choice, you know.

  24. gullywompr

    Wait… somebody blindly submitted to church doctrine without giving it any thought, even when it clearly contradicts their behavior in public life?

    Inconceivable!

  25. finallyhappy

    In a previous fight against homophobia here in Maryland- I pointed out that civil rights should never be voted on. So as a deaf black woman- I guess she is not thinking that her rights might still be pretty limited if there had been votes on the Civil Rights Act or the ADA- or that her rights are more important plus her church hates the gheys- so OK then

  26. barto

    I think the university hired her on purpose just to prove how inclusive they are – bigots are as welcome as anyone else!

  27. widestanceromance

    Taxpayer dollars going to Gallaudet to support the Deaf Lifestyle/Agenda is the real outrage here!1!

  28. calliecallie

    "Could the Catholic Church start cracking down on priests who register as Democrats, given that party’s support for gay marriage and abortion rights?"

    If they're not going to crack down on them for being child molesters, then probably not.

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