University's diversity chief put on leave after signing anti-gay marriage petition

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 11, 2012 12:42 PM GMT
    Interesting dilemma: a Maryland university's Diversity chief signs a petition in support of an anti-gay marriage ballot initiative. She should have the right to sign a political petition as a private citizen, but what happens when the content of that petition is in conflict with her job description, and the diversity values she's charged with enforcing on campus?

    Does that call into question her ability to perform her official assigned duties? Does that create the appearance of a conflict of interest, and bring into question her commitment to her job? The article's reader comments contain the usual collection of "war on religion" claims (there's another thread here touching on that topic), raising the question of whether religion grants a carte blanche to disregard civil law, and employee responsibilities.

    Some US courts already think that pharmacists don't have to dispense legally prescribed drugs if those drugs are contrary to their religious beliefs. Does a diversity chief not have to enforce and personally follow university policy if that policy disagrees with her religious and/or political beliefs? Did she take the job under false pretenses? Thorny questions.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/10/14348322-universitys-diversity-chief-put-on-leave-after-signing-anti-gay-marriage-petition?lite
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Oct 11, 2012 1:58 PM GMT
    thought provoking questions !
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    Oct 11, 2012 2:10 PM GMT
    Not a thorny question at all. She is in charge of diversity, and in the modern world one component of her job is LGBT issues. Signing this petition was incredibly stupid on her part. She is entitled to her political beliefs, but they are apparently in direct contravention of her job responsibilities.
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    Oct 11, 2012 2:22 PM GMT
    It's like having a general who's a pacifist.

    It's a deaf school, it'd be like having someone who doesn't support 508 compliance in charge.
  • thirdoz

    Posts: 69

    Oct 11, 2012 2:40 PM GMT
    Well, the pharmacists that refuse "abortion" pills are unburdened by such things as a basic understanding of pharmacodynamics or anatomy. For it to be an abortion there has to be an embryo first, and it has to actually implant itself in the utrine wall (aka pregnancy). Emergency contraception pills work by delaying the release of the egg, sperm and egg never meet.


    Yeah, she should be canned. It's a conflict of interest. No one is stripping her of her right to observe any religion, or fining/jailing her for her opinion. She made a dumb choice, that's her right. Even if they decide to keep her, it's her job to enforce university standards -- not her personal views (double that for pharmacists).
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    Oct 11, 2012 2:43 PM GMT
    I know a lot of Pharmacists and I went to a Pharmacy school...I will say if Pharmacists dont want to dispense a certain pill, DONT GO INTO THE FIELD! As health care professionals we take oaths not to judge or refuse anyone based on their personals beliefs or ours...

    Also if your the chief of diversity and you dont believe in gay marriage then you are not diverse. Im calling an orange and orange. She has every right to have her own opinions but she should not go public with her views if she is in charge of making a community accepting of so many beliefs.
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    Oct 11, 2012 2:56 PM GMT
    Her job was in conflict with her views. I doubt she could be unbiased with her students if she was willing to sign a petition as divisive as that.

    A therapist student was dismissed at EMU because she did not want to council a gay student. If you can't do the job because of your beliefs, go to a religious school or find another job.

    Kudos to Maryland.
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    Oct 11, 2012 3:10 PM GMT
    She may not believe that it's in conflict. There are actually more than a few instances where people who are put in charge of "diversity" (typically being of ethnic background) in a number of institutions, even financial (I don't want to elaborate too much because it involves something that actually personally affects me), who are bent on promoting racial diversity but believe that "sexual orientation" diversity does not deserve any kind of recognition in their institution. They tend to be religious (harboring anti-gay beliefs).
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    Oct 11, 2012 3:40 PM GMT
    mocktwinkles saidShe may not believe that it's in conflict. There are actually more than a few instances where people who are put in charge of "diversity" (typically being of ethnic background) in a number of institutions, even financial (I don't want to elaborate too much because it involves something that actually personally affects me), who are bent on promoting racial diversity but believe that "sexual orientation" diversity does not deserve any kind of recognition in their institution. They tend to be religious (harboring anti-gay beliefs).


    I agree, but it's wrong. And bad business.
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    Oct 11, 2012 3:43 PM GMT
    showme said
    mocktwinkles saidShe may not believe that it's in conflict. There are actually more than a few instances where people who are put in charge of "diversity" (typically being of ethnic background) in a number of institutions, even financial (I don't want to elaborate too much because it involves something that actually personally affects me), who are bent on promoting racial diversity but believe that "sexual orientation" diversity does not deserve any kind of recognition in their institution. They tend to be religious (harboring anti-gay beliefs).


    I agree, but it's wrong. And bad business.


    Oh, I completely agree!
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    Oct 11, 2012 3:45 PM GMT
    Put on leave? Hell, she needs to be fired.
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    Oct 11, 2012 3:52 PM GMT
    Southbeachjane said
    paulflexes saidPut on leave? Hell, she needs to be fired.
    Mocktwinkles? I completely agree!


    ??
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    Oct 11, 2012 3:52 PM GMT
    mocktwinkles saidShe may not believe that it's in conflict....


    With what? Her own beliefs? You're joking, right?

    Employer's Job Description: Promote and bring into being the emancipation from slavery

    Applicant's Resume: 15 years as a slave trader. Packed black people like sardines into the cargo hold of ocean crossing boats. Stored "the goods" offshore. Held auctions. Signed petition against Lincoln.

    Since when does that person get that job?
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    Oct 11, 2012 3:56 PM GMT
    theantijock said
    mocktwinkles saidShe may not believe that it's in conflict....


    With what? Her own beliefs? You're joking, right?

    Employer's Job Description: Promote and bring into being the emancipation from slavery

    Applicant's Resume: 15 years as a slave trader. Packed black people like sardines into the cargo hold of ocean crossing boats. Stored "the goods" offshore. Held auctions. Signed petition against Lincoln.

    Since when does that person get that job?


    What the hell are you rambling about?

    I'm saying that many people who are hired by companies to promote "diversity" don't believe that sexual orientation should be a part of that "diversity"...they only believe in racial diversity.
  • thirdoz

    Posts: 69

    Oct 11, 2012 3:59 PM GMT
    mocktwinkles saidShe may not believe that it's in conflict. There are actually more than a few instances where people who are put in charge of "diversity" (typically being of ethnic background) in a number of institutions, even financial (I don't want to elaborate too much because it involves something that actually personally affects me), who are bent on promoting racial diversity but believe that "sexual orientation" diversity does not deserve any kind of recognition in their institution. They tend to be religious (harboring anti-gay beliefs).


    Its one thing if she's just unaware it's a conflict. That's just stupid. It's scarier to think she's got cognitive dissonance out the wazoo. Diversity chiefs and financial aid people don't exactly set a universities' policies. They don't get a vote, they follow procedure (or, at least should). Given her position the university has every right to put her on leave and review her performance. If it's found that she has not let her personal beliefs taint her work, she might be back at her office, just with a tarnished reputation. Still, it'd be prudent for the university to go ahead and ask her for her resignation, or dig deep and find a twink she laughed off of campus.
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    Oct 11, 2012 4:08 PM GMT
    mocktwinkles said
    theantijock said
    mocktwinkles saidShe may not believe that it's in conflict....


    With what? Her own beliefs? You're joking, right?

    Employer's Job Description: Promote and bring into being the emancipation from slavery

    Applicant's Resume: 15 years as a slave trader. Packed black people like sardines into the cargo hold of ocean crossing boats. Stored "the goods" offshore. Held auctions. Signed petition against Lincoln.

    Since when does that person get that job?


    What the hell are you rambling about?

    I'm saying that many people who are hired by companies to promote "diversity" don't believe that sexual orientation should be a part of that "diversity"...they only believe in racial diversity.


    Yes, which would be exactly like hiring a slave trader for the job of emancipation. Why the fuck can't you see that?

    Ramble this.

    Do you seriously think that if her boss asked at her interview, "do you believe that gay people are entitled to their full rights as 100% human beings" that if she said no, which she is saying here, that she'd have gotten that job in the first place? You think there was not a better suited candidate?

    She's doesn't think she's in conflict with herself? Brilliant thinking!
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    Oct 11, 2012 4:17 PM GMT
    theantijock said
    mocktwinkles said
    theantijock said
    mocktwinkles saidShe may not believe that it's in conflict....


    With what? Her own beliefs? You're joking, right?

    Employer's Job Description: Promote and bring into being the emancipation from slavery

    Applicant's Resume: 15 years as a slave trader. Packed black people like sardines into the cargo hold of ocean crossing boats. Stored "the goods" offshore. Held auctions. Signed petition against Lincoln.

    Since when does that person get that job?


    What the hell are you rambling about?

    I'm saying that many people who are hired by companies to promote "diversity" don't believe that sexual orientation should be a part of that "diversity"...they only believe in racial diversity.


    Yes, which would be exactly like hiring a slave trader for the job of emancipation. Why the fuck can't you see that?

    Ramble this.

    Do you seriously think that if her boss asked at her interview, "do you believe that gay people are entitled to their full rights as 100% human beings" that if she said no, which she is saying here, that she'd have gotten that job in the first place? You think there was not a better suited candidate?

    She's doesn't think she's in conflict with herself? Brilliant thinking!


    Who said I'm disagreeing with you? You're addressing me like I'm not "getting" something...like there's some kind of conflict here?
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    Oct 11, 2012 4:24 PM GMT
    mocktwinkles saidWho said I'm disagreeing with you? You're addressing me like I'm not "getting" something...like there's some kind of conflict here?


    Sorry, I read your post as a justification for her keeping her job. Thank you for clarifying.
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    Oct 11, 2012 4:38 PM GMT
    it´s like a jew who takes a job in a pork factory and complains that she has to handle pork.

    not complicated: if you can´t do the job for religious reasons then don´t take it.
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    Oct 11, 2012 4:56 PM GMT
    theantijock said
    mocktwinkles saidWho said I'm disagreeing with you? You're addressing me like I'm not "getting" something...like there's some kind of conflict here?


    Sorry, I read your post as a justification for her keeping her job. Thank you for clarifying.


    No way, I just think people should be more aware that there are an alarming number of these so called "pro-diversity" people who don't feel that orientation should be a part of the consideration.
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    Oct 11, 2012 4:59 PM GMT
    GonzoTheGreat saidit´s like a jew who takes a job in a pork factory and complains that she has to handle pork.

    not complicated: if you can´t do the job for religious reasons then don´t take it.

    I would agree with that, BUT, Federal courts have ruled in favor of pharmacists who take a job in a drug store, but then refuse to handle birth control and morning after pills because of their Christian religious beliefs. Very similar to your handling pork analogy.

    I believe the courts have accepted the pharmacists argument that women with a legitimate prescription can have it filled elsewhere. But what happens when they don't have another drug store option near them? And the morning-after pill must be taken promptly to be effective.

    Plus what if a woman has been using a discount plan offered by that drug store, while another store doesn't? Is she compelled to pay the higher cost differential, or should her regular drug store reimburse her for the difference when she's forced to use the higher cost store?
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Oct 11, 2012 5:14 PM GMT
    Bad move on the part of the worker. She shouldn't be fired for this, since she is allowed to have an opinion, but it should be noted in her file so that any other issues that arise in which her personal feelings and opinions could hamper her being an effective diversity chief. Regardless, this whole thing becoming so public probably will result in her losing her job. It just doesn't look good considering her position. Whether or not she can be fired based on this remains to be seen. She actually could have a lawsuit if it's not a right to work state
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    Oct 11, 2012 5:20 PM GMT
    mocktwinkles said
    theantijock said
    mocktwinkles saidWho said I'm disagreeing with you? You're addressing me like I'm not "getting" something...like there's some kind of conflict here?


    Sorry, I read your post as a justification for her keeping her job. Thank you for clarifying.


    No way, I just think people should be more aware that there are an alarming number of these so called "pro-diversity" people who don't feel that orientation should be a part of the consideration.


    Good point then.

    I have no problem with someone thinking whatever they want to think. It is the application of those thoughts that I question or might fight. So I have no problem that my neighbor might believe me living in sin. I have huge problems if they take their belief into the voting booth where it can prevent or interfere with my human rights.

    There are some things you just don't bring onto the job.

    By signing that petition this employee has completely violated a trust of the office she holds. She ought to be fired.
  • cyberwrassler

    Posts: 88

    Oct 11, 2012 5:26 PM GMT
    what I think and what I feel are two different things here. What I THINK is that as a private citizen as long as this person did not claim to represent the university or use a university pen to sign the petition or in any way say she speaks for the university - she has every right to sign this petition and not lose her job.
    What should be happening is the STUDENTS at this University should be having a MASS protest (maybe they are - I don't know) in outrage about the type of person the University Administrators hired to encourage and foster diversity on campus and the STUDENTS should initiate a movement to get this person fired.
    It's a tricky situation. And was this person appointed to their position..and who appointed them?
    Legally I think the University's hands are tied (but I'm no lawyer)..but STUDENT pressure and bad press can be very persuasive.
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    Oct 11, 2012 7:24 PM GMT
    What I expect her right-wing defenders will attempt to do is detach the issue of diversity from the issue of gay marriage. They will say that what she supported in the petition was strictly dealing with banning gay marriage. But that campus diversity is a separate matter, to include LGBT issues, that does not appear in the ballot measure the petition she signed supports.

    Gay marriage is not a campus concern, they will argue, only acceptance of LGBT students, staff & faculty within their academic community. If she supports that narrow definition of campus diversity, then her support of an anti-gay marriage petition is irrelevant to her job duties, as the 2 are unrelated. Under this interpretation, she would be fully performing her duties as required.

    Of course in reality these issues are indeed related, but I suspect that's the argument the Right will present could be quite effective with people whose knowledge and perception of these points is very superficial.