David Collins discusses his book Accidental Activists: Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas

Postponed due to the snow storm 1/17/18

Thu 1/18, 7pm:

Thursday 3/1 7pm:
David Collins discusses his book Accidental Activists: Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas

In early 2013 same-sex marriage was legal in only ten states and the District of Columbia. That year the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor appeared to open the door to marriage equality. In Texas, Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, together for sixteen years and deeply in love, wondered why no one had stepped across the threshold to challenge their state’s 2005 constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. They agreed to join a lawsuit being put together by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLD.

Two years later—after tense battles in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas and in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, after sitting through oral arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States in Obergefell v. Hodges—they won the right to marry deep in the heart of Texas. But the road they traveled was never easy. Accidental Activists is the deeply moving story of two men who struggled to achieve the dignity of which Justice Anthony Kennedy spoke in a series of Supreme Court decisions that recognized the “personhood,” the essential humanity of gays and lesbians.

Author David Collins tells Mark and Vic’s story in the context of legal and social history and explains the complex legal issues and developments surrounding same-sex marriage in layman’s terms.

David Collins taught English for forty years at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, and has published dozens of scholarly and creative nonfiction essays, two of which won first place in contests. He has had unrestricted access to all materials related to the story of Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, including legal communications, briefs, and court documents. Collins conducted extensive interviews with Mark and Vic and others involved in the case, as well as attended the court session when the Fifth Circuit Court heard same-sex marriage cases from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Collins covered oral arguments at the Supreme Court for the Columbia Tribune. He lives in Pineville, North Carolina.

Event date: 
Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Accidental Activists: Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas Cover Image
By David Collins, Evan Wolfson (Foreword by), Julian Castro (Foreword by)
$29.95
ISBN: 9781574416923
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Texas Press - August 15th, 2017