A man who challenged Texas'
constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples
said Tuesday that he's running for the state Senate as a Democrat.
Mark Phariss told The
Dallas Morning News that he was inspired to run by recent
Democratic wins in Virginia and Alabama, both considered Republican
“When I was accepting the fact that I
was gay, there were two things I kind of thought I had to give up:
one, getting married, and two, running for political office,"
Phariss said Tuesday. "I need to quit assuming what people will
think. I need to allow them the choice."
Phariss, a Plano-based lawyer, and
Victor Holmes, an Air Force veteran, were among the two gay couples
who sued Texas after the state refused to issue them a marriage
license. They won at the district court level but the decision was
stayed as the state appealed. The case was resolved two years later
when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell that gay and
lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry.
Phariss will face engineer Brian Chaput
in the March 6 Democratic primary.
If elected, Phariss would become the
state's first openly gay state senator.