The Los Angeles Times recently ran a feature story focusing on the law school friendship of Mark Phariss ’85 and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott ’88.
Phariss and Abbott are now plaintiff and defendant in a lawsuit, De Leon, Dimetman, Holmes and Phariss v. Perry, Abbott, Rickhoff and Lakey, which challenged Texas’ prohibition of gay marriage as unconstitutional in federal district court.
Phariss, who is assistant general counsel with Expert Global Solutions in Plano, Texas, and his partner, Victor Holmes, sued the state of Texas after being denied a wedding license. The couple brought suit together with a lesbian couple, Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman, who were married in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is allowed, and seek to have their marriage recognized in Texas.
On February 25, Judge Orlando Garcia of the U.S. District Court for the Western District Court in San Antonio struck down Texas’ law prohibiting gay marriage as unconstitutional. Abbott, representing the state of Texas, filed a notice of appeal on February 26. The case is now headed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Abbott is currently running as a Republican candidate for governor of Texas.