WACO, Texas (ABP) — A support group for families and friends of homosexuals recently opened a community center in Waco named for a retired Baylor University religion professor and his wife, who have a homosexual son.
The center is one of the few nationwide operated by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. The Waco center — in a former gay bar — is named for Eddie Dwyer, 92, who taught in the Baylor religion department for 37 years, and his wife, Velma, who was a credit manager in the university's financial aid office for 31 years.
The naming of the Eddie and Velma Dwyer Community Center came not long after an openly gay student at Baylor's Truett Seminary lost his scholarship and the student newspaper was censured by the administration for an editorial supporting the legalization of same-sex unions.
The Dwyers maintained the timing is coincidental. “This is not retaliation against Baylor. I set out my views long before this cropped up in the Baylor administration,” Eddie Dwyer said.
Baylor Spokesman Larry Brumley said the university had no response on the issue. “It's not a university matter,” he said. “It's a personal matter.”
The Dwyers' son, Paul, is a Baylor alumnus who has worked the last 30 years as a specialist in the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. He told his parents 13 years ago he is gay. After his son's disclosure, the father began extensive research about scientific findings and psychological studies, as well as theological and philosophical writings, on homosexuality. He concluded homosexuality is an innate condition in some people, not a choice.
In researching the Bible, Dwyer decided the scriptural references to homosexuality as an “abomination” were cultural prejudices rather than unchanging principles.
— Terri Jo Ryan of the Waco Tribune-Herald contributed to this report.