Gallaudet official hires lawyer over petition spat

By BEN NUCKOLS | October 12, 2012 | 9:34 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — An administrator at Gallaudet University in Washington who was placed on leave for signing an anti-gay marriage petition has hired an attorney and will address the media next week.

The lawyer for Angela McCaskill says she is "not anti-gay." Attorney J. Wyndal Gordon says McCaskill will speak in greater detail about her actions at a news conference Tuesday in Annapolis, Md.

Gallaudet is the nation's leading university for the deaf and hard of hearing. McCaskill, who lives in Maryland, is the chief diversity officer at the school. She was placed on leave this week. Gordon says he is exploring legal options to get her reinstated.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and other gay marriage supporters have criticized the move, saying McCaskill should not be punished for exercising her First Amendment rights.