Scott Davenport believes that everyone should have the freedom to marry.

As managing director of Freedom to Marry — a national campaign for marriage equality — his work reflects his passion.

Davenport joined the organization in 2008 after a successful career in business. He worked as vice president for Oliver Wyman Consulting and was the Managing Vice President at Capital One, after graduating with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Wharton in 1980.

“I joined [Freedom to Marry] because it allowed me to apply the skills that I built up through my business career to something that I’m really passionate about,” he said.

For Davenport, marriage “is something that we all need to protect our families.” He calls marriage a “fundamental” institution that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people should not be excluded from.

“It brings a host of benefits, rights, responsibilities. It brings a common structure to families, especially those with kids,” he said.

In 2004, Davenport married his long-time partner — Penn alumnus Tim Fisher — in Massachusetts, one of the five states in the country to legalize gay marriage. Although they divorced last year, Davenport remains an advocate of family life and marriage equality.

Davenport and Fisher were the first male couple to adopt a child from a surrogate mother in the District of Columbia. Together they raised two children, Fritz and Kati.

Davenport met his partner in his sophomore year through the Glee Club. At the time, Fisher was a freshman auditioning for the all-male choral group.

“Because I wasn’t ready to be out, I did the next best thing ­— I joined the Glee Club,” he said. Davenport and Fisher were friends at first, until a year later when “we recognized that we were in love and started experimenting ­— sleeping together, but we hadn’t confronted with ourselves that we were gay.”

Davenport added that it wasn’t until after college that he became openly gay. “At the time, on campus, I’m not sure we were ready for it,” he said, adding that “Gays At Penn” was the only organization for queer students on campus.

“There was no LGBT Center. There was no Bob Schoenberg,” he said, referring to the current LGBT Center director who has been at Penn for more than 20 years.

This October, Davenport returned to campus as a speaker during Penn Spectrum, a weekend-long alumni conference on diversity. According to Davenport, the LGBT community at Penn is “very different” from what it was like when he was an undergraduate. “The community is … much stronger, much more out,” he said, adding that while there is still work to be done to make the community more welcoming, it is “light years ahead” of what he experienced.

“Penn is one of the best college campuses to be gay in the country,” he said.

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