Named plaintiff in Supreme Court same-sex marriage case speaks on Capitol steps

Brett Donohoe

Speaking to a crowd of around 50 people, the named plaintiff in the Supreme Court case on same-sex marriage held a press conference calling for continued action in the fight for equality.

On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that 13 states’ bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Since that ruling, many same-sex couples around the country have married, but some state officials in Texas are attempting to create possible exceptions to the court’s decision.

“History will not be kind to the attorney general of this state,” said Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign, in response to Attorney General Ken Paxton’s attempts to provide religious exemptions to the Supreme Court ruling.

Chad Griffin (center), Human Rights Campaign President, speaks at the North steps of the Texas Capitol to a group of marriage equailty supporters on Monday morning. Griffin urged Texas lawmakers to extend equal protections to LGBT citizens. Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Jim Obergefell, the named plaintiff in the case, used the press conference as an opportunity to both celebrate the victory and rally the supporters for a continued fight.

“We all deserve equal dignity, respect and treatment,” Obergefell said. “We have to keep fighting.”

Vic Holmes, who sued the State of Texas last year for the right to marry his partner, Mark Phariss, spoke about the need for societal change.

“This ruling changed the law; now it’s up to Americans to change their minds,” Holmes said.

Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, praised the other speakers who had fought for same-sex marriage but still emphasized the road ahead.

“Their bravery has brought our county that much closer to genuine equality,” Miller said.

Mark Phariss (left), Vic Holmes (center) and Rebecca Robertson (right) celebrate after a rally for LGBT rights on the North steps of the Texas Capitol on Monday morning. Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Each speaker at the conference sought to remind the crowd that they are still fighting for full equality.

“The time has come in this country for full federal equality,” Griffin said. “Nothing more, nothing less.”