Same-Sex Marriage: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Mar 11, 2015

On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, the LBJ Future Forum hosted a conversation on same-sex marriage.

- Pamela Colloff
Pamela Colloff is an executive editor at Texas Monthly and has written for the magazine since 1997. Her work has also appeared in the New Yorker and has been anthologized in Best American Magazine Writing, Best American Crime Reporting, Best American Non-Required Reading, and Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists.

Colloff is a four-time National Magazine Award finalist. She was nominated in 2001 for her article on school prayer, and then again in 2011 for her two-part series, “Innocence Lost” and “Innocence Found,” about wrongly-convicted death row inmate Anthony Graves. In 2013 she was nominated twice more, for "Hannah and Andrew" and "The Innocent Man," a two-part series about Michael Morton, a man who spent 25 years wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife, Christine. The latter earned a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. In 2014, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University awarded her the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.

Colloff holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brown University and was raised in New York City. She lives in Austin with her husband and their two children.

- Boyce C. Cabaniss
Boyce Cabaniss is a shareholder at Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody. He has specialized in legal writing for more than 20 years both at the appellate and trial court level. He has handled briefing for clients at the United States Supreme Court, the District of Columbia, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal, United States District Courts across the country, including the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, the Texas Supreme Court, the Austin Court of Appeals and other state appellate and district courts throughout Texas.

- Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss
In October 2013, Holmes and Phariss, partners for over 17 years, applied for a marriage license in San Antonio and, when denied, filed suit along with another couple challenging the constitutionality of Texas' ban on same-sex marriages. The district court ruled Texas' ban unconstitutional in February 2014. Texas appealed the decision to the 5th Circuit, which heard oral arguments on January 9, 2015. A decision is pending.

Vic Holmes entered the Air Force right after high School in 1988 and retired from active service in December 2010 as a major after almost 23 years of service. While in the military, he obtained both his bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Nebraska, became a physician assistant (PA), and received numerous awards, including the 2004 Outstanding Provider of the Year, the Air Force Achievement Medal (three times), and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Holmes is currently a Physician Assistant Studies instructor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Ft. Worth, a position he has held since December 2010. In addition, he provides home-based medical care and services to the physically and mentally challenged in Fort Worth and Lewisville.

Mark Phariss received his undergraduate degree from Westminster College, and his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School. Phariss has practiced general corporate law for over 29 years and is currently the assistant general counsel of Expert Global Solutions, Inc., a $1.2 billion revenue business process outsourcing company based in Plano, Texas.

Phariss also currently serves on the Board of Directors of TeamSA Endowment, the foundation supporting the nonprofit San Antonio Sports, and Family Place, a Dallas-based safe haven for victims of family violence. He has also served on numerous other boards, including the Alamo Bowl, San Antonio Sports, the Texas Lyceum, and the Human Rights Campaign.

See Texas Monthly’s coverage of their story

About Future Forum
The Future Forum is a public policy discussion forum that provides thought leadership through compelling programs and activities, inspiring the doers of today and the builders of tomorrow. Membership in the Future Forum offers you the opportunity to support the LBJ Library and enjoy special access to expert speakers, thoughtful debates, exhibit previews, bipartisan discussions, and much more. Become a member.

Quick Links

Contact Us

Sarah McCracken
Director of Public Programs
LBJ Presidential Library
2313 Red River St.
Austin, TX 78705
[email protected]


Deborah Arronge
Membership Manager

LBJ Presidential Library
[email protected]
(512) 721-0198


Please be aware that LBJ Presidential Library events may be filmed and/or photographed. Your attendance constitutes your authorization for the LBJ Library to use your photograph, voice, or other likeness for purposes related to the Library, including but not limited to marketing and promotion in both print and electronic forms.