Dr. Angela McCaskill, the chief diversity officer at Gallaudet University, says she signed a petition seeking to repeal Maryland's gay marriage law because she believes in democracy.

McCaskill was put on paid leave last week after school officials learned that she was a signatory to the petition which put the law up to a popular vote on November 6.

“I thought it was important that as a citizen of the state of Maryland I could exercise my right to participate in the political process,” McCaskill said at a press conference on Tuesday. “I am pro-democracy.”

McCaskill's attorney repeatedly said that her client has never publicly taken a stance on marriage equality, adding that McCaskill is not anti-gay.

Gallaudet University President T. Alan Hurwitz said on Tuesday that McCaskill may return to her job but that she and the university would need to “work together to respond to the concerns that have been raised.”

While McCaskill has not taken legal action, her attorney, J. Wyndal Gordon, said she wants to be compensated for the emotional distress the “scandal” has inflicted upon her.

“I was shocked, hurt, insulted. I was humiliated,” McCaskill, who is deaf, said with the assistance of an interpreter. “I am dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance, a university that manages by intimidation, a university that allows bullying among faculty, staff and students.”