Archive for January, 2009

Aggies John Scroggs and Paul Robles exchanged commitment vows at Bryan's Messina Hof winery in 2003. Five years later, they legally married on the steps of San Francisco's ornate City Hall. Gay marriage motivated two Texas A&M academics, Clair Nixon and Jeff Puryear, to donate thousands of dollars to invalidate 18,000 same-sex nuptials perfomed in California, including Scroggs and Robles'.

Second in a Series.

The Century Oak‘s arching limbs form a natural grotto, a shaded refuge of tranquility on Texas A&M’s bustling campus of 48,000 students.  For generations, students proposed marriage under this hallowed canopy.  Thus, in April of 2002, it was only natural that John Scroggs would invite a very special fellow Aggie to accept perpetual commitment in this sacred place where so many of his classmates began their lives together.  In this story, however, cherished tradition takes a hard left turn.

Scroggs’ chosen life partner was another gay man, Paul Robles, also a student and fellow university employee.  Since Texas A&M’s inception in 1876, throughout its first nine decades as an all-male, military college, and after women were allowed to enroll in 1963, Aggieland love stories followed the traditional plot:  boy meets girl.  When John took his broken computer to Paul for repair in 1998, boy meets boy was still a hostile concept at a university that, in the penultimate decade of the twentieth century, had fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid certification of a gay student organization. (more…)


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January 20 was more than Inauguration Day.  It was the first day of the new semester in Aggieland.  Nevertheless, President Elsa Murano—who as a Hispanic woman is not the typical Texas A&M chief executive—hosted faculty and students in the Zone Club at Kyle Field.  It must have been a bitter pill for Aggie conservatives, who once threw eggs at a likeness of our President, to know the inauguration of a black president was broadcast into their “sacred” Kyle Field.

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