Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Standing Up and Following Suit

October 01, 2013

You may recall the controversy last year involving Dr. Angela McCaskill, a senior university official at Gallaudet University, who was suspended because she had signed a ballot petition supporting Maryland voters having the right to vote on marriage. The punishment sparked nationwide outrage, demonstrations at the University, and thousands of petitions calling for her reinstatement. For months, the University refused to reinstate her even after they were advised that the law doesn't allow a person to be punished for signing a petition, or for exercising any other basic citizenship right to participate in the democratic process. The University's intent was very clear: engage in voter intimidation so that a chilling effect would take hold in workplaces prior to the election.

Only after the election was over did the University move to quietly reinstate her, apparently in an effort to limit exposure in an expected lawsuit and pacify Dr. McCaskill's persistent supporters. Today, we learned that Dr. McCaskill followed through on that lawsuit. I commend her for taking this stand which will not only help protect her right to pursue a livelihood but also serve as deterrent to others who might be inclined to be as intolerant as Gallaudet University. Unfortunately, Dr. McCaskill is only one of many who have experienced the consequences of standing up to marriage redefinition.

Almost every day we learn of someone's livelihood threatened or lost because of their refusal to embrace same-sex "marriage." We know wedding cake bakers, T-shirt makers, bed and breakfast owners, military chaplains, high school teachers, restaurant owners, photographers, churches, Massachusetts parents, and others who have been fired, sued, harassed, fined, and suspended. Growing awareness of these incidents may explain why opposition to redefining marriage is increasing among evangelicals. Dr. Angela McCaskill, Arelene's Flowers, Elane Photography, and others who refuse to be intimidated are a testament to how American Christians can simply stand, unapologetically while also speaking the truth in love.