Ethics Quiz: The Conundrum of the Anti-Gay Marriage Diversity Officer

…But be sure to think about it who will see it before you do!

Ethics, law, fairness and common sense are locked in a complex battle in this story, which comes out of Gallaudet University, the famous Washington D.C. school for the deaf.

Dr. Angela McCaskill, Gallaudet’s chief diversity officer, has been put on administrative leave and may face dismissal because the school learned that she had signed a petition opposing Maryland’s same-sex marriage law.  McCaskill apparently signed the petition at her church after her preacher spoke against gay marriage. A measure is on the Maryland ballot that could overturn the recently-passed state law approving same-sex marriage.

Does she have an absolute right to sign a petition in favor or opposing any political or social policy? Yes. Is this a petition something a university official in charge of promoting diversity is wise to sign? No. Is a university whose diversity officer chooses to sign such a petition behaving fairly and responsibly to decide that it should have someone else in that position?

Hmmmm.

And that’s your weekend Ethics Alarms Quiz:

Is it fair and responsible for a university to fire its diversity chief because she signed a petition opposing gay marriage?

My answer is this: Absolutely.

Gallaudet is not a state institution, so the First Amendment almost certainly doesn’t bar her firing. Local law might: apparently Washington, D.C. has a provision making it a crime for any person to “by threat[] or intimidation, interfere[] with, or attempts to interfere with, the right of any qualified registered elector to sign or not to sign any initiative, referendum, or recall petition, or to vote for or against, or to abstain from voting on any initiative, referendum, or recall measure.”

None of that applies to the ethical analysis, however. Even though I am sure that Dr. McCaskill would insist that her faith-based conviction that marriage should be an institution for opposite gender couples only has nothing to do with her commitment to campus diversity, there is no way that she can maintain the trust of her constituency and stake-holders, which includes gay and transgendered students, having signed a petition that they will see as discriminatory. As Teddi Fishman, director of the International Center for Academic Integrity at Clemson University, told NBC in a carefully worded statement.

“If a person is responsible for ensuring equal opportunities for students regardless of their gender or sexual orientation and that person goes on record as being opposed to equal opportunities for people based on their gender and sexual orientation, it certainly appears that there is some incongruity.”

“Some incongruity”…uh, yes, I’d say so. While McCaskill has a right to her opinions, she does not have a right to serve in a position where her responsibilities appear to be contradictory to her publicly stated beliefs. This creates an appearance of a conflict of interest, and a situation that is not conducive to trust. She was the first deaf African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from Gallaudet, and has worked in various capacities there for 23 years. She should certainly not be fired for this lapse in judgment, given her connections to the institution. She should not and cannot continue as diversity chief, however.

______________________________________

Facts: NBC News

Source: Volokh

Graphic: Citizen Warrior

121 thoughts on “Ethics Quiz: The Conundrum of the Anti-Gay Marriage Diversity Officer

  1. I agree with Jack, terminating her would be an overreaction but the stated duties of her current position conflicting with her personal convictions should disqualify her. I am puzzled that if she felt that way, why she did not take the initiative and address her concerns with the administration. I am also curious how the university discovered her actions; while the petition is public record, it seems as if someone was gunning not for her personally, but for anyone who signed the petition and would be placed in a undesirable position for doing so.

    • “I am also curious how the university discovered her actions; while the petition is public record, it seems as if someone was gunning not for her personally, but for anyone who signed the petition and would be placed in a undesirable position for doing so.”

      Yes, that is exactly what it was, a co-faculty member was gunning for her personally. The latest tactic is to turn these petitions into published enemies lists which are then used to intimidate people. A Gaudellet faculty member was scanning the peitition list for names, recognized Angela McCaskills, and reported her to the faculty.

      The promoters of gay marriage in Maryland already see how this could backfire on them in a very big way, and are urging the university to reinstate Angela and forget it, but it seems most of the gays want her head to roll.

  2. no it’s not fair. because you can support civil unions that will give the legal protections gay couple’s want, but you can oppose gay marriage on several grounds just exactly the same way ppl oppose polygami f.ex.. isn’t diversity about recognizing diversity? seems you’re forced to agree on this issue.

    • If your argument is that diversity as an objective for its own sake makes no sense, I’m with you.

      But as far as I’m concerned, this is exactly the same as NAACP finding out that its head legislative specialist is listed as a member of a White Supremacy organization, or NOW discovering that it’s head of PR wrote a letter of encouragement into the letters section of “Barefoot and Preggers Magazine.” The organization can and should regard the public embrace of a position counter to the mission of an employee’s department as grounds for termination.

      • To compare gay marriage to racism is utterly false. the debate about marriage is what marriage is, and we all do not agree that that is anything else but the union of one man and one women. I’d say the prime reason for this is that it affects children who by nature only comes from one mand and one woman. If you disagree with that I see no reason why a diversity person have any right to disagree with polygami.or other forms of unions. why?

        • You don’t comprehend analogies. I an not comparing opposition to gay marriage to racism. I am saying that for a diversity officer to publicly oppose gay marriage is just as disqualifying as for an NAACP officer to embrace racist views.

          See, in an analogy, the objective is not to say that the components are literally like each other, but that the relationship between the components in the analogy are like the relationship between the components in the situation being described. It’s similar to a metaphor: when I say, “his opinion is like a breath of fresh air,” it really isn’t helpful for you to say, “What? How can an opinion be like air?”

          Your comment is off point anyway. Arguments justifying her signing are irrelevant—the point is that the very students who need her support and must trust her will have reason to FEEL that she is biased against them.

          • you don’t get what I say. Noone is neutral. everyone has an opinion. If a diversity officer is forced to have a certain opinion about marriage that is not what diversity is about. She can def be supportive, but she has every right to disagree with this. Does she also have to support polygami? (plz answer) I think your analogy with racism and NAACP is false. You can ot compare skin color to sexual practices.

            • SHE’S NOT FORCED TO HAVE AN OPINION!!!! What’s the matter with you? She is required not to publicize an opinion that undermines her ability to do her job, which requires the trust of her constituency, including gays.

            • *sigh*. A diversity officer HAS to be on the side of the diversity, just like an NAACP officer really has to be on the side of thinking blacks are as good as whites. It’s part of the job description.

              • tgt,
                Both you and Jack take it as a given that because that she signed a petition to define marriage as between a man and a women that she is “Anti-Gay” and cannot be effective in promoting diversity, I know your arguments on this and even agree with some but there is no proof that she is not effective in her job. Your views ignore principles of diversity, such as respect of other cultures and beliefs. That she can believe this and still be effective in her job demonstrates she is the correct person to fill the position. Keep in mind petitions can get both good and bad propositions to the ballot box, it is essential to the democratic process, especially with so many ineffective political leaders, in my view to fire her for this is just one step down from voter intimidation and coercion.

                • Both you and Jack take it as a given that because that she signed a petition to define marriage as between a man and a women that she is “Anti-Gay”

                  Absolutely not. Her signing the partition gives off the appearance that she’s anti-gay. How students think she will respond to them is applicable to her job, so this is disqualifying.

                  The issue wasn’t whether this was good or bad. Wanting the age of consent to be 7 years old is bad, but signing such a position wouldn’t directly affect this person’s job.

                  • “Both you and Jack take it as a given that because that she signed a petition to define marriage as between a man and a women that she is “Anti-Gay”
                    Although I don’t think it caused offence, I apologize for the definitive statement; I should have said that “I think both you and Jack….”

                    “Her signing the partition gives off the appearance that she’s anti-gay. How students think she will respond to them is applicable to her job, so this is disqualifying.”

                    I can understand your point but absent any other behavior that shows bias or inability to do the job the school should have backed her when this information was brought to them. That would have been the ethical path.

                    • Why is backing her the ethical path? They can’t unring the bell. The school has a responsibility to both their students and staff. The staff member here violated the responsibility to the students. She has to go.

                      You want on the job bad conduct, but that’s immaterial to the problem. It doesn’t matter if she’s the best chief diversity officer ever. Once she’s flown the flag, she’s compromised.

                    • I think Jack’s comment to Steven’s response to him and my comment here to Steven’s response to me can be brought back together. We’re cross posting the same thing.

                • ARGGG!
                  I have written here many times that opposing gay marriage does not necessarily mean someone is anti-gay. But if you are gay, that fact certainly presents a prima facie case of anti-gay bias. And that’s all you need: suspicion, doubt. Bingo. No trust.

                  • Jack,
                    Ok, I got your point, and I apologize for the mischaracterization of you point of view. I don’t disagree that there could be a trust issue, but the correct thing to do is to back her, not “can” or remove her from the position.

                    • Back her? For what? Using terrible judgment? Making her own job impossible? Becoming a liability? Losing the trust of gay students? Making trouble for the school? Engaging is public advocacy that is exactly contrary to her mission?

                    • Jack/tgt,
                      Yes back her. Absent any other disqualifying information, what she did on her personal time, not representing the school, not advocating the position should have no bearing for her removal from that position. The school can address it head on and say that they expect their staff to maintain a certain standard and that she has, that they have full confidence in her at this point, that her personal position does not reflect their institution and that her signature on the petition does not reflect her personal performance in her job. If these students and this school cannot accept a diversity of views, some they share, some they don’t then our system is much worse off then I feared.

                    • they’re not for diversity, they’re for someone who has their views, and to them its incomprehensible that you can be supportive of others unless you think like them. basically.

                    • “ALERT, Steven. The fact that Marianne agrees with you is a strong indication that you are on the wrong track here.”

                      Talk about being torpedoed.

                      “good comment. and no, Jack is not for diversity here. He insults those who disagree with him.”

                      Marianne this can be a rough place but the folks on here are for the most part sincere and represent a diverse view on ethical matters. I appreciate the positive replies but you may want to back off on the character assassinations and mischaracterizations of arguments. Jack is defending his point and although I don’t agree I don’t see it as he against diversity or him disparaging anyone. I haven’t seen all your comments on here so I won’t comment on all his replies to you but will suggest you check out this site and read the reference material to get a grasp on what this place is all about, it is a cool place and one of the few I spare the time to read.

                      “No, I discourage those who lower the level of discussion here with relentless obtuseness, obstinacy and ignorance. Disagreeing with me has never resulted in insults. Steven’s comment is fine, but he just happens to be stuck on an irrelevancy, as I have tried and tried to explain. She is an advocate, and those she advocates for have to believe she is capable of doing so well. A gay student will believe, rightly or wrongly, that a woman who signs an anti-gay marriage petition is anti-gay. I know many, many gays, and I know none who would not think this way. it is a civil rights issue to them (and to me.)If you believe someone is biased against you and wants to withhold your civil rights from you, than you will not trust that person to be your advocate in an institution. This should be obvious. Steven is a rational guy, and I’m not quite sure why he has so much trouble grasping this. I DO know why you have trouble grasping it.”

                      Jack, how do you give the student an ethical pass if they are incorrect in their assessment of the Diversity and Inclusion officer as being anti-gay? “A gay student will believe, rightly or wrongly, that a woman who signs an anti-gay marriage petition is anti-gay.” I think where you and I mostly differ on this is the ethical solution. I don’t discount that a student may initially feel that way based solely on this information but if the student can’t see beyond it and fairly assess the Director of Diversity and Inclusion on her own merit, how can they ever function as a productive member of society with such bias? As to the solution, it is simple, the school, barring there being any other anti-gay behavior, should back her. You saying she should be removed because of the appearance of impropriety is inherently unethical and ignores the fact that this can be effectively addressed in other ways.

                      Secondly you mischaracterize the petition; it simply puts it up for a vote by the people, as I think is the proper course for this issue. Could it result in the legislation being trumped, yes, but it could reaffirm it as well. I just don’t see it as being anti-gay, but understand some may.

                      Third, as much as many would like believe, I think you have even stated before, marriage is not a civil right. As for my personal opinion of the subject of gay marriage, I am truly undecided. Does this make me anti-gay? I don’t think any of my family or friends would classify me that way, and we have talked about it. They all seem to be able to separate anti-gay sentiment from gay marriage, to be sure there are plenty who are anti-gay and anti-gay marriage but if you look at the polling despite the gay community being widely accepted by Americans the majority of states have defined marriage between one man and one woman. To me that demonstrates that the majority of Americans see it as two separate issues.

                      “Steven’s comment is fine, but he just happens to be stuck on an irrelevancy, as I have tried and tried to explain.” I think I have explained my views on this several times and in several ways but either I am failing to get my meaning across or you’re failing to acknowledge it. You have responded that “you will not trust that person to be your advocate in an institution” but despite addressing the solution I have proposed you ignore or discount it without explaining why you don’t think it is an ethical solution. To me you seem to think that these students are not rational beings who can learn and comprehend a multitude of ideas.

                      “comparing believing in marriage being a union between a man and a woman to the killing of 6 million Jews and 4 million others is about as unethical as it gets.

                      Forgive her, Steven—Marianne just doesn’t “get” analogies.”

                      Marianne, you completely missed the point of the analogy and my counter argument. Although I hate seeing or utilizing any holocaust analogies, I have used them myself, Jacks use was effective to illustrate his point and had nothing to do with equating one act with the other. My comment was that he was using a known or factual characterization of an individual (the denier) and one of a, at worst, suspected bigot. My point and issue that I was raising is that I don’t feel her signing of the petition is one in which rates her being characterized as anti-gay, hence her removal would be unethical.

                    • “Jack, how do you give the student an ethical pass if they are incorrect in their assessment of the Diversity and Inclusion officer as being anti-gay?”

                      Easy one. In assessing whether there is a serious appearance of impropriety, the question is not whether in FACT there is reason to distrust a professional, but whether a) given what key stakeholders believe, their distrust is reasonable and 2) whether their belief, though wrong, was thoroughly predictable by the professions, in this case, the Diversity officer, and 3) whether the conclusions that lead to the belief are reasonable as well as predictable.

                      This situation meets all 3 requirements.

                      When Justice Scalia went on a duck hunt that included Vice President Cheney, knowing that he had a case pending in which Cheney was a named party in his official capacity (but personally uninvolved), critics called for him to recuse on the basis of bias, conflict of interest and appearance of impropriety. He refused, writing a thoroughly persuasive memo explaining why there was no bias, why occasional friendly social outings with officials in Washington were inevitable and meaningless, and also pointing out the he and Cheney not only never talked about the case by barely saw each other on the trip. Scalia was right, but he was also wrong. He should have recused. It looked bad to the unsophisticated, and most Americans are unsophisticated.

                      “Secondly you mischaracterize the petition; it simply puts it up for a vote by the people.”

                      Except that when a law is passed, those in favor of the law aren’t the ones who sign petitions to have a ballot measure to overturn it. Sure, I suppose its conceivable that someone in favor of the law would say, “The people and not their elected representatives should decide such a momentous issue.” Five, maybe. Come on. There’s no ambiguity here.

                      “Third, as much as many would like believe, I think you have even stated before, marriage is not a civil right.”

                      You can maintain that, but plenty of high courts have held otherwise, beginning in Massachusetts. I think the bulk of legal jurisprudence now actually would hold that it IS a civil right, but never mind: gay Americans almost unanimously believe it is, and again, their belief, which is per se reasonable, is all that matters, not how reasonable your own opinion or doubts may be.

                      (It’s a civil right.)

                      Now see, Marianne? This is a good, solid, well-argued disagreement from Stephen. Even though he happens to be wrong in this case…

                    • Steve,

                      The “diversity of views” issue is a complete red herring. The head of a diversity program absolutely cannot be seen to be close-minded…and that’s what signing a petition to keep marriage one man and one woman does.

                      Again, this specifically relates to her job. You haven’t actually responded to the reasons this is a problem…reasons that this is not a general case. Instead, you’ve spouted platitudes. You’re not actually arguing with the problems. You’re ignoring them.

                    • Yes, diversity in the workplace does not require diversity in every position. A University President on record as believing higher education is a crock really can’t be trusted. A professor has a right to be a Holocaust denier, if he’s a math teacher and grades the Jews in his class fairly. If he’s in charge of Jewish studies, however, his students aren’t going to be very comfy in his class.

                    • I couldn’t reply directly.

                      tgt,
                      “The “diversity of views” issue is a complete red herring.” I have addressed the signing of the petition repeatedly, and I will say it again, clearly, she has not indicated that she is anti-gay, she has not been implicated as being a bigot in any way, she has not been shown to be anything but an accomplished person who has a solid track record and signed a petition to put a bill up for a vote that defines marriage, one way or the other. “The head of a diversity (and INCLUSION) program absolutely cannot be seen to be close-minded…and that’s what signing a petition to keep marriage one man and one woman does.” I disagree, you’re a proposing that this one action, that lacks context, but lets assume it is because she believes marriage is between one man and one woman, should define her despite not a single bit of substantiating behavior. At this point I would even take a “she eats lunch at chick fil a” but there isn’t even that. Your argument is that some will not feel that she is trust worthy because she signed this petition, as I have acknowledged, you may be correct, but you are incorrect that this was unethical because she did it on her own time, did not advocate against gays and did not act in any way that tied it to the university. She should not be removed from her position because she has not shown herself to be a bigot. Because she has done her job, and by all accounts well, the university needs to show some trust in her and back her up, not crumble in the face political correctness run amuck. If you call this spouting platitudes, then I guess there is no getting through to you. This is just more “take our position on this or else” strong arm tactics. As far as I know I haven’t even see a single student raise this as trust or any other issue, maybe it is because she has been so effective at her job that this one action is not representative of her, anything less than giving her the benefit of the doubt would be unethical.

                    • No, I discourage those who lower the level of discussion here with relentless obtuseness, obstinacy and ignorance. Steven’s comment is fine, but he just happens to be stuck on an irrelevancy, as I have tried and tried to explain. She is an advocate, and those she advocates for have to believe she is capable of doing so well. A gay student will believe, rightly or wrongly, that a woman who signs an anti-gay marriage petition is anti-gay. I know many, many gays, and I know none who would not think this way. it is a civil rights issue to them (and to me.)If you believe someone is biased against you and wants to withhold your civil rights from you, than you will not trust that person to be your advocate in an institution. This should be obvious. Steven is a rational guy, and I’m not quite sure why he has so much trouble grasping this.

                      I DO know why you have trouble grasping it.

                    • this is the crux of the matter; so now you are not allowed to believe marriage is between one man and one woman only, and if you are, you are not for diversity. This is a flawed premise, and you guys still have not answered if diversity officers must also then be for polygami, polyamorous unions, or how about those who fall in li=ove with animals or buildings? where’s the line? Because somewhere a line is drawn and that is someone’s opinion and so why does that opinion win out?

                    • Well, to begin with, all of those things are illegal, except falling in love with buildings. I suppose one can even have legal sexual relations with buildings, though I’m not sure HOW, or what kind of consent is required. I don’t see that this is common enough or discouraged on the campus to be of concern. The diversity line is pretty well defined.

                    • If he’s in charge of Jewish studies, however, his students aren’t going to be very comfy in his class.

                      …even if he grades them all fairly. The damage is done with the appearance of impropriety.

                    • The problem I have with Jack’s analogy is that he set it up as a tangible impropriety, the holocaust denier, in this case even given that it is her signature I don’t think it can fairly define her character or even rise to the level of a reasonable person being wary of her.

                    • comparing believing in marriage being a union between a man and a woman to the killing of 6 million Jews and 4 million others is about as unethical as it gets.

                    • Steven,

                      And again, it doesn’t actually matter what this woman thinks. It matters what she appears to think. The appearance matters for this job. It doesn’t matter if any student has raised it as an issue, just like it doesn’t matter if no students complain that they’ve seen their teacher naked. The people affected aren’t likely to speak out on the issue.

                    • The problem I have with Jack’s analogy is that he set it up as a tangible impropriety, the holocaust denier, in this case even given that it is her signature I don’t think it can fairly define her character or even rise to the level of a reasonable person being wary of her.

                      You don’t seem to understand the appearance of impropriety thing.

                    • “Steven, And again, it doesn’t actually matter what this woman things. It matters what she appears to think. The appearance matters for this job. It doesn’t matter if any student has raised it as an issue, just like it doesn’t matter if no students complain that they’ve seen their teacher naked. The people affected aren’t likely to speak out on the issue.”
                      Why wouldn’t they speak out on it? What do they have to fear? I think it is far more likely that most people see this simply as what it is a witch hunt. You are twisting this single issue into her being anti-gay, she is not and therefore should not be removed from that postion.
                      “The problem I have with Jack’s analogy is that he set it up as a tangible impropriety, the holocaust denier, in this case even given that it is her signature I don’t think it can fairly define her character or even rise to the level of a reasonable person being wary of her. You don’t seem to understand the appearance of impropriety thing.”
                      I understand impropriety all too well and in this case there is no reasonable basis for it. The school should back her, it really is that simple.

                    • Scalia was right, but he was also wrong. He should have recused. It looked bad to the unsophisticated, and most Americans are unsophisticated.

                      That is a pretty low bar for recusal.

                      Should Perry v. Schwarzenegger have been vacated because Judge Vaughn Walker was in a long term same-sex relationship?

                    • Steven,

                      Sorry for the delay. There was the flu followed by making up all the things that didn’t get done while flu’ed.

                      Why wouldn’t they speak out on it? What do they have to fear?
                      They are students. She is authority. It’d be rational for them to fear retaliation.

                      You are twisting this single issue into her being anti-gay, she is not and therefore should not be removed from that postion.

                      I am doing no such thing. I am saying that people infer that she is anti-gay. I’ve been quite clear on that.

                      I understand impropriety all too well and in this case there is no reasonable basis for it. The school should back her, it really is that simple.

                      If she signed a petition that said the people should be able to vote to determine if black people should be unable to get state benefits, would that change your answer? If so, what’s different between the cases?

                    • “Why wouldn’t they speak out on it? What do they have to fear? They are students. She is authority. It’d be rational for them to fear retaliation.”

                      I am still not buying this, they are collage students, she has minimal authority and she is not evaluating them. I just don’t think there is a basis for her removal.

                      “You are twisting this single issue into her being anti-gay, she is not and therefore should not be removed from that postion. I am doing no such thing. I am saying that people infer that she is anti-gay. I’ve been quite clear on that.”

                      I have said that it is an incorrect inference and apparently you agree so then the ethical thing to do is for the school to stand by her and work to eliminate any concerns that she is anti-gay.

                      “I understand impropriety all too well and in this case there is no reasonable basis for it. The school should back her, it really is that simple. If she signed a petition that said the people should be able to vote to determine if black people should be unable to get state benefits, would that change your answer? If so, what’s different between the cases?”

                      Yes as it would as it would be racist and unequal treatment. I would answer the same if you substituted black with gay people. If I apply black with gay to the petition she signed I would again say that it is wrong. But if I apply it as it is written then no, as we are not talking about race but sexual preference (or if you would rather orientation)and marriage. We have rehashed repeatedly how we each view homosexuality so I won’t get into it again but in terms of marriage I think there is nothing improper or bigoted for the citizens to define it.

                    • Steven:Why wouldn’t they speak out on it? What do they have to fear?

                      TGT: They are students. She is authority. It’d be rational for them to fear retaliation.

                      Steven:I am still not buying this, they are collage students, she has minimal authority and she is not evaluating them. I just don’t think there is a basis for her removal.

                      She is the point of contact that helps students gain access to resources. That’s the kind of person that does have significant power. Evaluation has nothing to do with it.

                      Steven:You are twisting this single issue into her being anti-gay, she is not and therefore should not be removed from that postion.

                      Kevin:I am doing no such thing. I am saying that people infer that she is anti-gay. I’ve been quite clear on that.

                      Steven:I have said that it is an incorrect inference and apparently you agree so then the ethical thing to do is for the school to stand by her and work to eliminate any concerns that she is anti-gay.

                      I haven’t said the inference is correct or incorrect. Again, You normally argue much better than this. I have said that the inference is pretty definite to occur for some of the people that would have a direct problem with it. As such, the behavior is unethical.

                      Steven: I understand impropriety all too well and in this case there is no reasonable basis for it. The school should back her, it really is that simple.
                      Kevin:If she signed a petition that said the people should be able to vote to determine if black people should be unable to get state benefits, would that change your answer? If so, what’s different between the cases?

                      Steven:Yes as it would as it would be racist and unequal treatment. I would answer the same if you substituted black with gay people. If I apply black with gay to the petition she signed I would again say that it is wrong. But if I apply it as it is written then no, as we are not talking about race but sexual preference (or if you would rather orientation)and marriage. We have rehashed repeatedly how we each view homosexuality so I won’t get into it again but in terms of marriage I think there is nothing improper or bigoted for the citizens to define it.

                      Translation: You think the teacher shouldn’t be fired because you don’t think that gays should have the same rights as straights. You’ve been making the argument that the signing of the petition doesn’t say the employee is prejudiced against gays, that the employee doesn’t have authority, and that it doesn’t matter what people think. If you switch from gays to blacks though, you find it inappropriate. It’s clear that all your previous comments were rationalizations for your position. If they don’t apply when blacks are the object of the petition, then they don’t apply when gays are the object of the petition. Your special pleading is clear, and clearly invalid.

                    • “Steven:Why wouldn’t they speak out on it? What do they have to fear? TGT: They are students. She is authority. It’d be rational for them to fear retaliation. Steven:I am still not buying this, they are collage students, she has minimal authority and she is not evaluating them. I just don’t think there is a basis for her removal. She is the point of contact that helps students gain access to resources. That’s the kind of person that does have significant power. Evaluation has nothing to do with it. Steven:You are twisting this single issue into her being anti-gay, she is not and therefore should not be removed from that postion. Kevin:I am doing no such thing. I am saying that people infer that she is anti-gay. I’ve been quite clear on that. Steven:I have said that it is an incorrect inference and apparently you agree so then the ethical thing to do is for the school to stand by her and work to eliminate any concerns that she is anti-gay. I haven’t said the inference is correct or incorrect. Again, You normally argue much better than this. I have said that the inference is pretty definite to occur for some of the people that would have a direct problem with it. As such, the behavior is unethical. Steven: I understand impropriety all too well and in this case there is no reasonable basis for it. The school should back her, it really is that simple. Kevin:If she signed a petition that said the people should be able to vote to determine if black people should be unable to get state benefits, would that change your answer? If so, what’s different between the cases? Steven:Yes as it would as it would be racist and unequal treatment. I would answer the same if you substituted black with gay people. If I apply black with gay to the petition she signed I would again say that it is wrong. But if I apply it as it is written then no, as we are not talking about race but sexual preference (or if you would rather orientation)and marriage. We have rehashed repeatedly how we each view homosexuality so I won’t get into it again but in terms of marriage I think there is nothing improper or bigoted for the citizens to define it. ”

                      My apologies for such delayed response; it is making it difficult for me to follow our arguments back and forth. I have a class going right now and the students have the majority of my attention so I don’t have as much flexibility right now. Offensive things happen despite intentions all the time that is one reason I don’t like zero tolerance policies, sometimes there is basis, sometimes there is not, it is the universities responsibility to evaluate her and decide if she is a bigot. With the information available I just cannot see this one incident as enough for her removal. If they find her sound then they should back her in the manner I have previously stated. For many years I have watched a diversity and EO program that has instantly come under attack every time a none female or sufficiently colored person has filled any of those positions. It is deemed offensive and ineffective because the very nature of the individual means that they cannot do the job. With this incident you have an action, which is different than the above incident but the weakness of the argument for removal is ALMOST the same, I would agree that it is enough to conduct an evaluation but not enough for removal without substantiation. Her signing the petition is insufficient evidence that she is a bigot and the insistence that “some” student may find it defining is just as weak as argument that found my friend under attack because he spoke Spanish with a Texas drawl and preferred to call everyone “friend” which was deemed demeaning.

                      “Translation: You think the teacher shouldn’t be fired because you don’t think that gays should have the same rights as straights.“

                      I believe they have the same rights, without reservation, but I honestly don’t know if I count marriage as a right. Jack and you have put forth some strong arguments but I am still undecided on it for several reasons. That is why I am fine with a ballot measure to decide it, I believe it should be something the people decide.

                      “You’ve been making the argument that the signing of the petition doesn’t say the employee is prejudiced against gays, that the employee doesn’t have authority, and that it doesn’t matter what people think.”
                      I said it is not enough to fire her from her position
                      “If you switch from gays to blacks though, you find it inappropriate. It’s clear that all your previous comments were rationalizations for your position. If they don’t apply when blacks are the object of the petition, then they don’t apply when gays are the object of the petition. Your special pleading is clear, and clearly invalid.”

                      Possibly, I can see where you can come to this conclusion but you may mistake my beliefs and view as something that solely drives my logic which is not the case. You seem to lump everyone who is different or can claim to be into one category and ignore specifics. I am sure I am going to step in it on this one as I have done before but you identify bias driving me to rationalization so let me state my view on gay marriage so you can really take me apart. No I do not see race and orientation as the same thing, nor do I see gender the same as race or orientation. Each is specific onto itself although arguably race and gender have the similarity of instant recognizably, homosexuality generally does not. Should race be a basis of marriage of course not, but homosexuality by its nature is defined by actions, unspoken or not and does provide a consideration for what marriage is. I DON’T know the answer as I am not convinced as to cause of homosexuality, as I believe we have gone over several times. Does the cause matter? I think it does to the degree that civilization accepts the actions of its population; otherwise the result is an anything goes society that will be self destructive. I am not saying homosexuals will destroy society, what I am saying is I think it is proper for society to have a say on what is institutionalized. I am all for individual freedom and really do not care who is having sex or loves who, what I am saying is I believe the people should have a say. If you frame homosexuality discrimination in nearly any other way then I would likely to agree, as it appears is the view across the country, if John loves Bob I don’t really care but is it justification to define marriage as anything goes, I am doubtful so I think the people should decide.

                    • Steven:

                      […] it is the universities responsibility to evaluate her and decide if she is a bigot. With the information available I just cannot see this one incident as enough for her removal.

                      You return to this irrelevant canard. It doesn’t matter if she actually is a bigot

                      […] the insistence that “some” student may find it defining is just as weak as argument that found my friend under attack because he spoke Spanish with a Texas drawl and preferred to call everyone “friend” which was deemed demeaning.

                      You’re mischaracterizing the situation. This is a likely inference that is not by any means weird. It isn’t that some people might not like her style or her colloquialisms are grating. Your example of a friend in a similar situation is not at all a similar situation.

                      Possibly, I can see where you can come to this conclusion but you may mistake my beliefs and view as something that solely drives my logic which is not the case.

                      It doesn’t matter what drives your logic. I have only made suppositions about your reasoning to help you see where your logic goes off the rails. When, I showed that you are using special pleading in this circumstance, your logic was lost. You should have seen that your arguments were rationalizations, as you wouldn’t make those arguments in a parallel situation with a group that you feel differently about.

                      If signing a petition to put on the ballot a question that makes decisions about what black people can do is enough reason to remove the person from their position, then the same goes for signing a petition to put on the ballot a question about what homosexuals can do.

                      You try to create wiggle room by saying that homosexuality isn’t like race, but that’s going to fail. If the petition was to get a ballot measure about whether Christians should be able to marry or Democrats should be able to marry, the same issue would occur. If a Christian is getting harrassed for backing Jesus or a Democrat is being harrassed for backing Romney, and they needed help filing a complaint, they likely wouldn’t feel comfortable working with someone who signed onto the respective petition.

        • To compare gay marriage to racism is utterly false. the debate about marriage is what marriage is, and we all do not agree that that is anything else but the union of one man and one women.

          In some states, a majority of people believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman of the same race..

          The comparison is apt. In the days of miscegenation laws, a person could be deemed white (so unable to marry a black) in one state, black (so unable to marry a white) in another. The definition of Black and White Race differed between states in boundary cases, just as the definition of Male and Female differs between states today.

          From Littleton vs Prange:
          “Taking this situation to its logical conclusion, Mrs. Littleton, while in San Antonio, Texas, is a male and has a void marriage; as she travels to Houston, Texas, and enters federal property, she is female and a widow; upon traveling to Kentucky she is female and a widow; but, upon entering Ohio, she is once again male and prohibited from marriage; entering Connecticut, she is again female and may marry; if her travel takes her north to Vermont, she is male and may marry a female; if instead she travels south to New Jersey, she may marry a male.”

  3. From the description, a diversity officer ” is responsible for ensuring equal opportunities for students regardless of their gender or sexual orientation”. Clearly,. this is in the context of the university. A diversity officer can not ensure equal opportunities outside the university.

    If she believes marriage is between a man and a woman, while at the same time ensuring equal opportunities within the university, then this does not show she is unfit, but reinforces that she is fit for the job.

    The answer to the quiz is no.

    • As the diversity officer she is likely to deal with married same-sex couples from Maryland. Her public support for the repeal calls into question her ability to serve those couples.

      As a parallel situation, members of the military are allowed to vote any way they wish but they are not allowed to make comments contrary to their command structure.

            • While I agree with you about sex being a fundamental difference, and race being superficial, many people do not. A majority in some places.

              You’re also speaking to a woman who spent the first 47 years of her life looking male – mostly. Before that changed and normalised. Mostly.

              I thought I was just standard transsexual – I had no idea I was biologically more female than male, as well as psychologically. No-one did before 2005.

              In boundary cases, things aren’t simple. I also see no reason why the fundamental difference of sex should preclude or allow marriage. My relationship with my partner is fundamentally unchanged, even though we’re now in a same-sex marriage in a jurisdiction where contracting a same-sex marriage is prohibited.

              It’s a marriage, not a “marriage”.

              • I don’t know what you mean exactly when you ay you were “biologically more female”? Are you saying you were a hermaphrodite? Are you currently on artifical hormones to be more female? Marriage is defined as a male and female, Ppl can do what they want, but when it affect children, that’s where I have a huge problem. Only those male/female can naturally have children. If you lobby for any kind of union to be valid why don’t government just get out of the business of marrying anyone at all? I don’t see the validity of fighting polygami, or any other ployamorous union either then? I mean, what’s the basis for that? And since Jack here says you cannot sign a petition opposing gay marriage and be a diversity officer we’re getting into very murky territory, because you really don’t allow any diversity of belief actually. You only permit being for everything.

                • You begged the question on marriage.
                  You attacked a strawman based on any kind of union.
                  You equivocated on the word diversity.

                  Got any valid arguments?

                • Are you saying you were a hermaphrodite?

                  That word is deprecated, but I’m Intersex, yes. The technical phrase for my particular situation is protandrous dichogamous pseudohermaphrodite..

                  “Hermaphrodite” as a technical term should be reserved for that subset of Intersex people with both ovarian and testicular tissues. Very rare.

                  “Pseudohermaphrodite” should be reserved for those who sequentially apparently change sex, or have the appearance of sex characteristics of both sexes without the substance.

                  Although I consider it unmannerly to ask personal medical questions, yes, I’m on HRT, primarily to control cortisol and cholesterol levels, but also to keep my appearance stabilised at an approximate female norm. Many other women who have been through menopause take HRT for the same reason.

                  I’m a biological parent (though that took technical help to extract gametes), and have been married to the mother of my child for 31 years.

                  • if I understand you correctly you’ve felt like a woman but you are a man? I am afraid there is nothing “natural” about HRT. It’s “fake” hormones (pharmaceutical) and they are in fact quite dangerous. that is why HRT is so controversial, and that is why women can die from eating the pill. Women eating the pill can also “feminize” their babies if they get pregnant while on it, or having recently been on it. Hormones are massively injected into animals, it goes into the water supplies, we have it in plastic etc etc etc. There is a LOT that is screwed up these days because of unnatural estrogen everywhere. Something like that could have been the cause of you feeling and partly being “intersex”. If you are physically born a man, maybe they should have corrected whatever hormone issues you had to rectify that instead?

      • If comparing her to the military then she should not lose her job. A military member can sign petitions, go to political rallies and the like, but not in uniform and cannot act as a representative of the service.

          • Your example is a bit extreme and is dealing directly with the chain of command, so it really is not easily comparable. With that said I am not completely sure if even your example would be true, if just signing and the petition was not sponsored by a national political party then he would not be subject to punishment under the UCMJ, he IS appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate so loss of position is likely to happen.

            But applied to a petition such as to legalize or define marriage legislation then no, he does not get fired, as a matter of fact there are protections in place to prevent that from happening. If he signs as NAME: John Smith, and if required, EMPLOYER: US Army he is fine. If it is NAME: General John Smith, EMPLOYER: JCS, US Army then there is a problem.

            As for this case I would say if she is just a signatory then it is unethical to fire her for only signing a petition, if there is other issues that signifies a bias and that she is not capable of doing her job then I could see making the petition something that should be considered, but barring any other evidence it is personal matter, should who she voted for President be a ethical firing offence? How about if she signed a petition to put in term limits, allow polygamy, reduce the voting age to 16 years old or to ban Indian casinos?

  4. Well said, Michael. Now if there was some suggestion that she was preventing equal opportunities within the university, I might think otherwise. If the school is brave, it might have a public discussion of the issue and both sides might acquire some understanding and respect for opposing beliefs. But the smart money is on the university caving and diversity of “gender or sexual orientation” will trump diversity of thought.

  5. Marianne, Michal, James – +1. Much as I admire and respect our illustrious host, I do not believe it would be ethical to fire her, for the reasons all three of you stated.

    • I’m a 52 year old single mother who was fired from Penn State University in 2011 due to a simple conversation with a coworker (who I’m pretty sure was gay) about the phrase In God We Trust. He came to my desk one very slow work day after spring semester ended, pulled a dollar bill out of his pocket and stated how he disliked the phrase on our currency. I responded by discussing the faith convictions of our Founding Fathers which were overwhelmingly Christian. He argued that Thomas Jefferson was an atheist so I took him to a few websites that showed otherwise giving him some quotes from Jefferson about God. Then he immediately turned the conversation into a discussion about gay marriage and adoption and got very loud. Our supervisor came out of her office, looked at me and angrily said, “We just came from a diversity event and look at what YOU are doing!” I was flabbergasted! After she walked away, he apologized by saying, “Sorry I got you in trouble.” That was irrelevant, though, because the ball was already rolling to punish my so-called “violation.”

      I was subsequently placed on 90 day probation and required to attend biweekly meetings which were nothing more than bully sessions trying to convince me that my views were inappropriate. Eight days before my termination at the end of the 90 days, Penn State wrote (suggesting that I was confusing belief with action): “Injecting unsolicited faith-based comments into conversations is action that is inappropriate and unacceptable behavior in the workplace that will not be tolerated.”

      Based upon that one sentence written clearly in black-and-white, I immediately filed a religious discrimination complaint with the PA Human Relations Commission which was dual-filed with the EEOC. They denied my case, so I appealed and it was denied again. How’s that for justice?! A public university like Penn State can fire me for a simple discussion about our very own national motto, referencing my “faith-based comments” and get away with it!!!

      I had no money to fight this! I sent endless emails and faxes to religious liberty organizations asking for legal help, to no avail. A few came very close to helping me but then backed out, apparently due to the at-will employment law or something. I still don’t understand it! No one wanted to help this poor single mom fight the Goliath of Penn State due to the insane hypersensitivity that is called “diversity” today.

      I’m surviving, but has been very, very difficult, to say the least. My son just turned sixteen and my daughter actually graduated from Penn State in May. At one point my rent got three months behind, so I went to church faithfully and eventually shared my situation with some in our congregation. They helped me pay it and have helped me with groceries and such the past few years. Needless to say, I’ve been devastated financially and emotionally by this terrible injustice in the name of diversity. However, God is faithful to take care of His own, even when the wicked of this world seem to prevail against them.

        • How well I know!!! I naively thought that I would win my complaint of discrimination or could eventually receive legal help since they clearly referenced my faith. But I couldn’t!!! WHY??? Because the new standard is “diversity” which trumps free speech, despite our Constitution’s clear guarantee of “free expression” in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment!!! Their continuous denials were unconscionable and distressing beyond words!!! Unfortunately, I had to let it drop when time for appeal ran out. What else could I do?

  6. Dr. McCaskill has the right to vote as she sees fit but does not have the right to make public statements which indicate a direct conflict with the mission of her office. This is may be a minor issue if she was one of many low level employees but it is of concern with her being the officer in charge of diversity activities on campus. That being said I think a university in this situation would best be served by moving her to another position at the university.

    As an aside, …
    1) How should a public school react if they find out a biology teacher is young earth creationist?
    2) How should a public university react if they find out a student in the science teacher education program is a young earth creationist?
    3) How should a public school react if a biology teacher refuses to teach students who claim to be young earth creationists?

    • Eric: I’m not sure her statements are in direct conflict with the mission of her office. Is it the office’s mission to lobby for a specific point of view outside the university? I’m assuming the head of diversity at a university deals with university-related diversity issues (amorphous as they may be).

      • The office’s mission is to promote diversity. She is on record being against a certain kind of diversity. In the grand scheme, it’s against the mission.

        • The office is to promote diversity and inclusion. She is not on record being against diversity. She is on record that she supports a bill to define what marriage is.

          • She’s on record as signing a petition developed by opponents of the same sex marriage law to define the law out of existence. Come on, Even Bill Clinton would be embarrassed by your description. The definition that petition seeks to see accepted would promote exclusion. Without making any judgments about the wisdom of that position, I still can say with 100% certainty that it reasonably engenders distrust among gay students.

            • Jack, you still haven’t anwered my question if a diversity officer must be for polygami? Otherwise, according to your thinking, how can she serve Mormons who do, or other pppl for theat matter. Please answer.

              • I sure did: I wrote “Well, to begin with, all of those things are illegal, except falling in love with buildings. I suppose one can even have legal sexual relations with buildings, though I’m not sure HOW, or what kind of consent is required. I don’t see that this is common enough or discouraged on the campus to be of concern. The diversity line is pretty well defined.” Polygamy is illegal.

                But more importantly, as you keep refusing to acknowledge, she is not required to SUPPORT gay marriage. She simply has no business publicly opposing it in her position.

    • My answers:

      1) How should a public school react if they find out a biology teacher is young earth creationist?
      None of their business, if she teaches what’s she’s supposed to teach and does a good job at it.

      2) How should a public university react if they find out a student in the science teacher education program is a young earth creationist?
      Again, same as above.

      3) How should a public school react if a biology teacher refuses to teach students who claim to be young earth creationists?
      Fire the teacher.

      • Let me first say what I meant by. “find out the teacher is a Y/E Creationist?” is to say they signed a petition in support for a state wide vote to require Biology teacher to teach creationism. It was an important and unfortunate omission.

        Assuming the above clarification does not change your answer, doesn’t the teacher violate the trust their constituents by taking a public position that is directly contrary to their job in a similar way to Dr. McCaskill? Neither in her case nor in my hypothetical cases is there any actual problems on the job, just concerns about their ability to serve.

        I mentioned the third scenario above because of the recent trend of writing state laws to allow pharmacists, nurses, doctors to refuse to treat patients/dispense medications based on religious exceptions. I find these laws as absurd as the notion of a teacher refusing to teach a segment of their student population yet some how these laws get passed.

        • No, because a teacher’s views about what he or she is teaching shouldn’t matter. A teacher should be teaching facts and techniques, not opinions. Any teacher who teaches my child her opinions will find themselves in the principal’s office, meeting with me and perhaps a lawyer.

      • So, Mr. Marshall, in essence you are saying that a person’s personal convictions can be discriminated against resulting in termination when it conflicts with the mission of the university. Is that not precisely what anti-discrimination laws are in place to protect????!!!!!

        • 1) She was not terminated.
          2) One’s personal convictions mad public, when they interfere with one’s JOB, are absolutely fair grounds for termination. If a teacher has a blog an says that she hates blacks and Asians, he can be terminated as a teacher, because black and Asians students cannot trust someone who has said that she hates them in public.

          3. Call me “Jack.”

          Or “Wise One.”

          • you’re arguments are entirely wrong. Disagreeing is NOT hate. Are you telling us that one has to agree with their BELIEFS about sexuality? Do you also have to agree with orgies? prostitution? any kind of gender ideology? incest? bestiality? if one opposes these we are against “diversity”? This is censorship and religious oppression. Nothing else. And it uses the cover of “diversity” to enforce that whatever they deem regarding sex o be ok, is what everyone else have to agree upon or be silent. It is their BELIEFS against ours. Period.

            • If you want to participate here, learn to read. I did not say that Hate was inherent in disagreement. I wrote:

              One’s personal convictions made public, when they interfere with one’s JOB, are absolutely fair grounds for termination. If a teacher has a blog an says that she hates blacks and Asians, he can be terminated as a teacher, because black and Asians students cannot trust someone who has said that she hates them in public.

              The analogy I used was a another situation where one who must be trusted by those she oversees expresses an opinion that undermines trust of that group. Justification for opposing gay marriage implies, for every gay person I have ever discussed the topic with, if not hate, then disrespect of their rights and equality. That’s the point

              Emphasis is not logic, my friend:

              Are you telling us that one has to agree with their BELIEFS about sexuality?
              Nope. Learn to read.

              Do you also have to agree with orgies? prostitution? any kind of gender ideology? incest? bestiality?
              Straw men all. Learn to debate fairly.

              If one opposes these we are against “diversity”?
              Not germane to the post. Learn to think.
              This is censorship and religious oppression.
              Utter nonsense. Wild exaggeration. These words don’t mean what you think they do.

              And it uses the cover of “diversity” to enforce that whatever they deem regarding sex o be ok, is what everyone else have to agree upon or be silent.
              You can say anything you like. You just can’t work in jobs where knowledge of that opinion makes your job impossible.

              It is their BELIEFS against ours. Period.
              Ah. So you are an idiot, then. Got it.

              • wow. You are so arrogant… and no, I was not wrong. And it is not true that all gays think that opposing gay marriage means hate. That is a blatant LIE. Do you not even know there are gay people who live in celibacy? Gay people who have changed to be with the opposite sex. Hm.. or are you one of those who censor everyone who disagrees with the LGBT movement, including some gays. Yes, you are. To promote the idea that those who are opposed to gay marriage “hate” gays is a political tool to FORCE people to agree, That is all. And that is all of what you are about as well. And please spare me another lecture about what your discussion should entail when you lie so blatantly about this. It’s not that hard to see through you.

                • Uh, again, I didn’t say that those who oppose gay marriage hate gays, OR that gays necessarily believe that. I said “Justification for opposing gay marriage implies, for every gay person I have ever discussed the topic with, if not hate, then disrespect of their rights and equality.” See, one of the traits of an idiot is that even after one has explained something very clearly, their mind keeps bouncing back to their original belief. That’s what you are doing. Because…

                  • Something is profoundly wrong with you Jack. You lie, twist and do name calling because I call you out on what you say that is wrong. How bizarre that you think you’re some kind of voice for ethics. And yes, you did write (just scroll up and read) that gays consider those who don’t support gay marriage to hate them. It’s not even legal for gays to marry in most US states, much less so in the rest of the world. Yet, you and the rest of the gaystapo dare to accuse people who disagree of hate/discrimination etc etc. You don’t even answer any of my statements such as there being gays who disagree, the constant censorship of them, etc. Here you have Barb getting FIRED for not supporting gay marriage, and somehow that is ok? And now they’re doing the same thing about transgendered people 0 despote tha FACT that no one can change gender, this is now forced upon everyone to have to agree with. And so let me ask you this; if all people who are for incest relationships say they are hated and discriminated against if they can’t marry, does it make it right? In your reasoning, it does. But, you won’t answer that. You’ll just go on another rampage against anyone and everyone who has the audacity to disagree with you. Tyranny, that is what you support and stand for.

                    • You and Barb can meet up and be hysterical together. Well, she’s hysterical, you are just intellectually defective. Not worth the trouble repeatedly pointing out your misrepresentations, logical fallacies and foolishness, nor to unravel what you think is logic. As Erma Bombeck sadi, it is impossible to argue with a 6 year old without sounding like one. You aren’t welcome here either. You degrade the cause of those who agree with you by your incoherence. Bye.

              • He’s not an idiot, Jack. He’s exactly right! It’s too bad you revert to character assassination when you are supposed to be the one with the “ethical” site.

                • He’s an idiot, as the comment proved. That’s not character assassination. That is diagnosis based on evidence, in black and white.
                  I defy anyone the make the argument that the author of this sentence—“And it uses the cover of “diversity” to enforce that whatever they deem regarding sex to be ok, is what everyone else have to agree upon or be silent. It is their BELIEFS against ours—Period.”—isn’t by definition idiotic. It’s paranoid, counter-factual, ignorant, gibberish and non-grammatical. Period.

          • Jack, I was indeed terminated from Penn State University for having a simple discussion about our national motto In God We Trust with a coworker who turned it into a debate about same-sex marriage. When he got loud defending his position in favor of it, our supervisor came out of her office, reprimanded only ME with these words: “We just came from a diversity event and look at what YOU are doing!” and then she placed me on probation which led to my termination 90 days later. This very insane idea that “diversity” means all must subscribe to the gay agenda or else, is an extremely serious problem in America. And if you can’t see that, you are blind!

            My ability to do my job was in NO WAY hindered by my conversation about our very own national motto. Simply because that three letter word G-O-D (which, by the way is included in every founding document of this country, not to mention famous presidential addresses, etc. etc. ) was being used was the real issue. And thus my “faith-based comments” were perceived as being offensive even though, believe it or not, he actually apologized to me when she walked away for “getting me in trouble.” It did not matter, since the ball was already rolling at that point to punish me for violating so-called diversity standards.

            I’ve suffered greatly ever since. I have a sixteen year old son still at home and owe student loan debt since my daughter just graduated in May from Penn State. But I can’t even get an interview at a local supermarket because I was honest on my employment application about what happened. Should I lie? No, I won’t! Because my faith is what is most important to me; therefore, I refuse to hide it from anyone and be bullied into subscribing to the gay agenda, regardless of the consequences!

            • Tell-tale signs your employers may have been on sound ground:

              1. Repeated use of the term “gay agenda”
              2. You sound like an angry zealot.
              3. You suggest that you are not above proselytizing at work.

            • All we hear today from those advocating for gay rights and other non-Christian views is “tolerance, tolerance, tolerance….” Read again the statement Penn State wrote eight days before my termination: “Injecting unsolicited faith-based comments into conversations is action that is inappropriate and unacceptable behavior in the workplace that will not be tolerated.”

              Now please tell me, Jack, where was the TOLERANCE for my Christian view in that statement?

              #1: My comments were not “unsolicited” since the coworker came to MY desk and began the conversation!!! DUH!!!

              #2: We are supposed to have guaranteed freedom of speech according to the First Amendment.

              #3: Freedom of speech is supposed to allow religious speech. (e.g. Muslims and Hindus, etc., can talk all day, every day, wherever they are in this country about their beliefs and not be silenced or punished!)

              #4: Why could I NOT, despite almost two years of sending endless emails and faxes and filing complaints with the PA Human Relations Commission and the EEOC, get any justice whatsoever?

              I could not even get Unemployment Benefits! (I was denied, appealed, and denied again) because they used the pathetic excuse that I was “insubordinate.” Insubordinate to their views of political correctness and their very skewed views of diversity is all. Absolutely!

              I refuse to kowtow to the idea that it is somehow “normal” for two men or two women to marry and have a family when God calls such behavior detestable (Leviticus 18:22). Both Old and New Testaments condemn homosexuality, so no man, regardless of who he is (President, Pope, etc.) will ever convince me it’s okay and should be celebrated! Throw me to the lions, but I will not concede!

                • Sorry, but I did not see your reply until I was done with my last comment. I posted somewhere on this thread describing my situation which is very similar to this case. If someone’s personal and/or religious convictions prohibit him/her from subscribing to a certain viewpoint, such as same-sex marriage and gay rights, then freedom of speech and freedom of religion protected by our Constitution should allow that view free expression. But Christians and Christian business owners all over this country are being muzzled and suffering very real financial damages due to this insane notion that two men or two women should have unlimited rights to marriage and family.

                  Nowhere in our Constitution does it state that immoral behavior should be given such unfettered privilege! Our founding documents were designed by men of faith in a “Creator”, “Divine Providence”, “Supreme Judge,” as clearly noted in the Declaration of Independence, a document which is considered our nation’s birth certificate.

                  Jesus said in Matthew 19:4-6: “Have you not read that in the beginning God created them MALE and FEMALE…for this reason a MAN shall leave his father and mother and be united to his WIFE…”? Thus God is the engineer of marriage, and He is therefore to be honored above all in regards to the institution.

                  Whatever happened to majority rule? Prop 8 in California was overturned twice, simply due to a few radical judges overturning the will of the majority in favor a minority who demand “tolerance” by whining, shaming and denying any and all opposition to their behavior which most people find very distasteful. I, for one, am very sick of it being crammed down our throats everywhere we turn!

                  • I just spammed your last–and I do mean last comment, Barb. You’re banned.

                    For the record, Barb wrote,

                    “Angry zealot? Really? So what do you call those advocating for same-sex marriage? I guess they are just like innocent kittens meowing for milk, right? LOL! Your hypocrisy is abundantly apparent, even though you’re too blind to notice. Typical!
                    Thank you, though. That’s a compliment. I’m in good company since our Founding Fathers were the same since they were “zealous” enough to include God in all of our founding documentation. That’s what enables all of our freedoms, including your dissenting voice against religious expression. Yet those who rail against it (faith-based freedom) are cutting their noses off to spite their face!”

                    The “LOL” all by itself gets you banned here, as Barb would have known if she bothered to read the Commenting policies. But she is obviously spinning in her own furious political hysteria, and that’s not welcome here. Once you start quoting the Bible as your authority, the jig is up. Barb has no interest in ethics: she’s taking orders. That’s fine, but it also precludes reason and persuasion.

                    Bye, Barb. But you don’t belong here.

              • We have tragically become a country of cowards being bullied and then caving in to same-sex marriage rights. Few people are willing to stand against it due to the backlash fueled by the liberal media. I don’t care; I will never give in to such a notion and go against my Christian convictions.

                God is the Supreme Judge, as the Declaration of Independence clearly states, and He will ultimately have to be reckoned with by all, regardless of who you side with on this earth. I’d rather be on His side than side with the same immoral behavior that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah turning those cities into a pile of ashes in mere seconds!

                God bless America, in Jesus’ name! Amen!

              • Rant. This isn’t your grievance site, and I’m not interested in adjudicating when I have only one side. Your situation is unrelated to the one under discussion in the post, which was adjudicated, correctly.

              • Stories like Barb’s are becoming pathetically common. What’s even more pathetic is that she was fired from the university that itself has become a grim icon for established and protected sexual perversity; a school indirectly named for one of America’s great Christian leaders.

            • Your comment was, in fact, prima facie proof of idiocy. Naturally, you wouldn’t recognize that. A comment with those features wouild prove idiocy if they pronounced every word I have ever uttered as discovered truth.

    • 1) So longer as she teaches the curriculum. No problem. Her beliefs don’t jeopardize a position of trust with her students.

      2) The same as 1

      3) Fired. Failed in her duty.

    • The legal answer might change, the ethical answer wouldn’t She undermined her trustworthiness in the eyes of bother her employer and the students she served. There’s no way any university should want to keep her in that job.

      By the way, I think the whole idea of a “diversity officer” is ridiculous.

  7. Dr. McCaskill has the right to vote as she sees fit but does not have the right to make public statements which indicate a direct conflict with the mission of her office.

    She did not make a public statement – no, let me correct that: five years ago, her signing of a petition would not have been available public knowledge, unless some very diligent reporter or activist chose to make it so. Welcome to the Brave New World.

    As an aside, …
    1) How should a public school react if they find out a biology teacher is young earth creationist?

    I suspect this is an unlikely scenario these days, but as long as the teacher is presenting the curriculum according to school standards, and is not citing his or her own beliefs as preferable, they should not react at all.

    >2) How should a public university react if they find out a student in the science teacher education program is a young earth creationist?

    Response to point one is repeated and stipulated. The school has two choices here: it can either do its best to change the student’s mind with content, not with pressure (which I’d personally recommend) or it can run him/her through the course of study and hope that logic will preveal. If he/she meets or exceeds the academic standards to which all others have agreed, and holds on to theological beliefs, tough titty. The student met the standards set.

    3) How should a public school react if a biology teacher refuses to teach students who claim to be young earth creationists?

    It should present material as per established curriculum – though I’d add it should do so by being respectful of the student’s views – and encouraging other students to do so as well. Those views are informed by the kid’s parents.

  8. Because this is a petition, not a public statement of views that would make their job duties difficult to perform, I would say no, she should not NECCESARILY be fired.

    To sign a petition is support the right of the people to decide a matter. It is to support the rights of citizens to choose. Yes, there are petty and punitive petitions, petitions that attempt to block the functioning of the government, but there are also petitions that allow citizens the voice they are supposed to have in their government. I have singed petitions to put things (and candidates) on the ballot that I do not support. I signed them because although I did not support them, I thought it was wrong that the public did not have a say in the matter (such as restricted party access to ballots and judicially imposed items).

    It is also possible that she is an extreme liberal who truly believes in the separation of church and state. I haven’t ever met one, but they could exist. With such a view, she would believe that the government should have nothing to do with the religious sacrament of marriage. OK, it is a long shot, but it is possible.

    Yes, having a diversity officer is silly. Those sorts of things always remind me of Apartheid (your rights and privileges depend on the race on your ID) .

    • Petitions are public statements. You also don’t seem to understand how our government works.

      How in the world does a diversity officer resemble apartheid?

  9. “This situation meets all 3 requirements.”
    Agreed, but I still think it can be addressed without her being removed from the position.
    “Scalia was right, but he was also wrong. He should have recused. It looked bad to the unsophisticated, and most American are unsophisticated.”
    With this one I am nearly there with you and appreciate the time, it is a strong comparison but what still gives me pause is that these are college students, and shouldn’t be unsophisticated or at least should have the capacity to reason. I just can take that last step to say she should be removed from that position because I just don’t think that signing the petition should cause students such unshakable mistrust in her.
    “The people and not their elected representatives should decide such a momentous issue.” Five, maybe.
    See I would be one of those five, I am more confident in the people deciding this issue then I am the legislators, I don’t think I am in the minority in this viewpoint and can see her doing the same. Now I will grant you that this happened at church so if I was putting money down then I would likely bet on Jack.
    “I think the bulk of legal jurisprudence now actually would hold that it IS a civil right, but never mind: gay Americans almost unanimously believe it is, and again, their belief, which is per se reasonable, is all that matters, not how reasonable your own opinion or doubts may be.”
    I will have to take your word on this, partly because there is no reason to doubt you, secondly I really don’t want to look up cases.
    (It’s a civil right.) Got it, thanks, I wasn’t completely sure your take, I am not sure why I thought you had said otherwise.

  10. If this woman signed that petition- or any petition- it’s her own damn business. Besides, since when does “diversity” (whatever that actually means) become the equivalent of pro-homosexual “marriage”? She can still council them without giving her sanction to the demeaning of marriage in this manner.

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