An interracial couple got married on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on the 53rd anniversary of a ruling that paved the way for their marriage to be legal.
Michele Davis and Barton Corbett Leatherwood wanted to exchange their vows on the anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision — the landmark case that legalized interracial marriage.
“We’ve had some challenges, but together—” Davis started.
“It’s absolutely worth it,” Leatherwood finished.
They had initially postponed their plans because of the pandemic, but then she changed her mind.
“With so much going on in the world, and June 12 approaching, it’s like why not do everything we could to make it happen and just spread love and awareness to love wins no matter what,” Davis said.
“I was over the top happy, surprised, very surprised, and then we just said, OK, let’s make this happen,” Leatherwood said.
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From the gown and tuxedo to the hair and makeup to the special “love wins” shirts made for their friends to wear, the flash wedding came together in just two days. Davis started inviting people Wednesday night.
“Two of my friends who are here, they immediately started booking their plane tickets,” Davis said. “They flew in yesterday. The rest of them, they canceled everything and showed up for us, and so again, it’s really symbolic of what happens when you pull people together in love.”
“It’s been a very exciting, rewarding, emotional and great experience,” Leatherwood said.
The couple spent their wedding night fighting for equal rights. They traveled from the court to Black Lives Matter Plaza where they joined protesters who’ve been demanding change after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
“It was just something significant about doing it now in the midst of all the protest and the movements,” Davis said.
They walked among the crowds as husband and wife to show unity and set an example.
“It’s a message of gratefulness, of hope and of love,” Leatherwood said.