The chief diversity officer at Gallaudet University has been placed on paid leave after she signed a petition to put a gay marriage referendum on the ballot in Maryland.
The referendum would overturn a same-sex marriage bill signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley. .
Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz announced Angela McCaskill's leave in a statement Wednesday. He said McCaskill "participated in a legislative initiative that some feel is inappropriate" for someone in her position.
McCaskill lives in Maryland, where voters will vote on the referendum, known as Question 6, in November. It was placed on the ballot by opponents of same-sex unions.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality campaign manager Josh Levin says Angela McCaskill "should be reinstated immediately" as chief diversity officer at Gallaudet. Although the group supports gay marriage, Levin says "everyone is entitled to free speech."
McCaskill's signature on the petition was disclosed in July by the Washington Blade. She did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Gallaudet is the nation's leading university for the deaf and hard of hearing.