University Official Loses Lawsuit, Demoted for Signing Marriage Protection Ballot Petition,

WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2014 (CWN) --A federal district court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Angela McCaskill, Gallaudet University’s former chief diversity officer, who was demoted after a colleague discovered she had signed a petition in favor of a Maryland marriage ballot initiative.

McCaskill said in her lawsuit against the university that she was “expressing herself as a married, heterosexual, African-American, Christian woman/voter, who, through prayer and worship, searched for a means to enlighten Maryland voters on the issue of same-sex marriage in such a way to foster discourse, tolerance, and respect for the democratic process,” the Washington Business Journal reported.

“Even if Gallaudet knew of her religious convictions or was aware that those convictions motivated her to sign the petition – a fact that remains hazy on the face of the complaint – there is no factual allegation that her religion somehow prompted her suspension or demotion,” ruled Judge James E. Boasberg, who was appointed to the bench by President Obama. “Although it may be true that McCaskill signed the petition because she is a Christian ... the university cannot be guilty of discrimination on that basis.”

“While a citizen has an unfettered right to petition her government, such a constitutional claim aimed at Gallaudet cannot succeed here, as the university and its employees are private parties not subject to the First Amendment’s strictures,” he added.

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