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…)