Same-Sex Marriage Plaintiff In Texas Is Old Friend Of GOP Gov Candidate


One of the plaintiffs pushing a lawsuit to legalize gay marriage in Texas happens to be an old friend of Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), who’s fighting the lawsuit.

Mark Phariss, the plaintiff, described to local Texas TV station KERA about his days knowing Abbott, the likely Republican gubernatorial nominee, when they both attended law school at Vanderbilt University. Phariss detailed how he hurried from Oklahoma to the hospital in Houston in 1984 where Abbott was after the attorney general suffered an injury that paralyzed him for life.

“I was clerking in a law firm in Tulsa and I flew down to be by his side with his wife and his mother, Phariss told the TV station. “He was a very good friend then and I consider him a very good friend now.”

The interview comes a few days after a federal judge ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. Shortly after the ruling Abbott’s office said it would begin taking steps to appeal the decision.

In a statement to KERA, Abbott acknowledged that he, his wife Cecilia, and Phariss were friends years ago.

“We remember Mark from our law school days and his early days as a lawyer in San Antonio,” Abbott said in the statement. “We remain grateful that Mark visited the hospital during the trying time after my injury. As I said yesterday, there are good, well-meaning people on both sides of this issue. This shows that Americans can in fact debate substantial issues without being disagreeable.”

(H/t: Dallas Morning News)