In an article of the same name, The Accidental Activists, Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss, were featured in Texas Monthly during their revolutionary fight to marry in 2014. Vic and Mark have been together over 20 years and married for two. The struggles they faced as members of the gay community and during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy (while Vic was serving in the military) inspired them to become two of the four plaintiffs in the 2013 Same-Sex Marriage Equality suit, “DeLeon v. Perry” against the state of Texas for the right to marry. The court found in favor of the right for all Texans to love the person of their choosing and most recently, they filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court in Turner v. Pidgeon.
Mark Phariss of Plano, Texas, is a Democratic candidate for Texas Senate District 8. Mark has been a business attorney for the past 32 years after graduating from Vanderbilt Law School. He has worked in multiple business law practice settings. He has also been a civil rights advocate for the past 20 years, lobbying for the Equality Act and non-discrimination ordinances in San Antonio and Plano, Texas, contributed to the campaigns of many pro-equality advocates and allies, and serving on the boards of numerous equality organizations. In addition, he has served on the boards of The Family Place (a refuge for victims of domestic violence), TeamSA Endowment, San Antonio Sports, and others. Mark is a sports fanatic, proud Eagle Scout (Order of the Arrow recipient), and Son of the American Revolution.
Vic Holmes is an Assistant Professor currently teaching medicine at the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth. His clinical work includes providing home-based medical care for the mentally and physically challenged. He graduated from the Interservice Physician Assistant Program in 2000 and retired honorably from the Air Force after 22+ years of service. Vic and his husband, Mark Phariss, support a variety of equality and education groups including the Human Rights Campaign, Equality Texas, and Ed-U-Care Dallas Inc. He is also the Faculty Advisor for the LGBT & Allies Student Group on the UNTHSC Campus spends his free time animating squeaky toys for their adorable beagles.