Accidental Activists

David Collins
The Fight to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage in Texas – a State ‘Steeped in Marlboro Man Mythology and Social Conservatism’
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
6:30 pm
Nowhere, perhaps, was the fight for marriage equality more daunting than deep in the heart of Texas – a state “steeped in Marlboro Man mythology and social conservatism,” as Texas Monthly magazine put it.

Mark Phariss, a graduate of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, and Vic Holmes nonetheless joined a challenge of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage that lasted two arduous years. They won their case in district court, and the state’s appeal was in progress when the U.S. Supreme Court settled things in 2015, legalizing same-sex marriage in Obergefell vs. Hodges. Phariss and Holmes wed in Frisco, Texas, that November.

David Collins, a former English professor at Westminster, chronicles their story in Accidental Activists: Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas. He discusses the new book and the couple’s personal and legal journey.