August 6, 2021
This last Wednesday, August 4, around 3:00 AM, in the city of Galveston, Scott Apley, Dickinson City Council member and member of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) of the Republican Party of Texas, passed away after being admitted for complications attributed later to a Covid infection. Scott Apley left behind his wife Melissa and his infant son.
For those of you who may have not known Scott, he was a forceful, articulate, and principled defender of American liberties, as you and I understand them. Though a man whose religious convictions did not necessarily align with many or possibly even most of the members of our LCR chapters in Texas, Scott Apley was no less a defender of our religious liberty and freedom of conscience than he was of his own. Unlike so many now grouped on the opposite extremes of today’s highly polarized political climate, Scott understood that our First Amendment freedoms of free speech, religious liberty, freedom of association, and freedom of conscience, are not dependent on who you are, how you identify, or what you believe. Scott understood that these freedoms are the birthright of every American – period.
I first met Scott on a Tuesday morning at the 2016 state convention when, under the advice of another new friend and ally’s counsel (who now also sits at the SREC), I ended up at his subcommittee to propose a brand new plank for our state party’s platform. This new plank aimed to add a new defense of freedom of conscience, including religious freedom, from the infringement by the state under the cover of state ‘non-discrimination’ laws that have been successfully reducing First Amendment and property rights of Americans across the country. As Providence would have it, a printer was not working, they were in recess, the room was mostly empty, and so while everyone was waiting for the printer to be fixed, I was given much more than the typical 2-3 minutes to present and explain this new plank. An open discussion ensued. Scott immediately understood the implications, and proceeded to artfully explain them to the other members of the sub-committee. When the printer was fixed, and the sub-committee resumed formal deliberations, the plank was taken up, and passed unanimously. It ultimately became part of the final adopted 2016 Platform, and has remained part of the party platform since, through 2020. Passage of this plank with the guidance and assistance of individual members of the Texas Young Republicans and the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas became the seed for the formation of the Freedom First Republicans Coalition that includes these two organizations and the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas.
Ever since then, I never saw Scott fail to maintain his principles and values with consistency and fairness towards all.
It has been a sad and terrible shock to witness in the wake of his sudden passing, the ugly celebratory aggression that has been directed at Scott and his family via social media, much of it harnessed and aimed by opportunistic and cold-blooded national news reports seeking to make political points of his death – as if his unique and anecdotal tragedy had anything to do with public policy that affects millions. The truth is, we don’t know that had Scott made different choices the outcome would have been any different for him. But even if that might have been, what kind of people cheer the death of a human being, and insult and further aggrieve his family, simply because they didn’t like his policy views? How are they unembarrassed by this behavior akin to that of vultures who feed on the defenseless dead? They do not value human dignity as much as self-serving pride in their own beliefs.
Speaking on behalf of the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas, we strongly condemn the ugly attacks on Scott Apley and the tormenting of his family, and extend our deepest condolences to those who knew and loved Scott and will miss him so. For my part, Scott, I extend my eternal thanks to you, wherever you are, for listening to what we had to say about liberty.
Marco Antonio Roberts, Chairman
A GoFundme Page has been set up for Scott and Melissa Apley for those wishing to donate to his family’s medical and funeral expenses.