Two Female Ferguson Protest Leaders Marry [Photos]
Two Ferguson protest leaders, Alexis Templeton and Brittany Ferrell, who met as Ferguson protesters, are getting married. Templeton, 20, and Ferrell, 25, met while they were involved as leaders in the Ferguson movement protesting the Aug. 9 shooting death of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown and the grand jury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson, the former police officer who shot and killed him.
The Ferguson protest leaders got engaged Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the marble steps of St. Louis City Hall’s rotunda, only a month after a judge overturned the state of Missouri’s ban on gay and lesbian marriages.
According to BuzzFeed, Templeton is a native of Ferguson, while Ferrell grew up in St. Louis but attended high school in Ferguson. Both attend the University of Missouri – St. Louis, but joined in the protests against police killing of Michael Brown. They are co-founders of Millennial Activists United and have been very visible in the Ferguson movement, The St. Louis American reports.
They recently brought a lawsuit against police authorities over their handling of the Ferguson protests, according to The Huffington Post.
The couple shared the news of their planned wedding on social media. Friends, fellow activists and media reporters, including St. Louis City Counselor Winston Calvert, attended their engagement ceremony at the St. Louis City Hall.
The ceremony was documented on social media, including Vine and livestream.
Ferrell recalled the first time she ever saw Templeton in August at the Ferguson Police Department: She embraced Templeton as part of protesters’ solidarity gesture.
“She had on an UMSL shirt. I was like, ‘Oh, hey.’ I embraced her just because she was there. You hug people and you welcome them, especially in a time like that.”
The two struck up a friendship and soon fell in love.
According to Templeton, among other co-protesters she forged a bond with, she felt strongly attracted to Ferrell. Telling her own side of the story, she said Ferrell proposed marriage the night before the ceremony at the City Hall.
“Last night, we were sitting in the kitchen and she asked me, ‘Would you marry me?’ I said, ‘Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I’ll do it tomorrow.’ Since she’s made me happy for 130 days, I want to make her happy for the rest of my life.”
Templeton’s sister, Bre, 23, recalled how Templeton gushed to her about Ferrell, saying, “I got a crush.”
“Alex came up and sat with my son and she fed him. She was like, ‘Dude, I got a crush.’ I was like, ‘OK, that’s cool.’ And she was like, ‘No, I got a crush on a girl.'”
Jamell Spann, 21, Templeton’s friend and best man at the event, delivered a glowing oratory, praising the courage of the two women.
“You are looking at two people that stood shoulder to shoulder, faced rubber bullets, tear gas and discrimination… To be a black woman in America is an unfathomably deep struggle to go through day in and day out. And being a lesbian black woman in America — you just see how each level compounds.”
At the steps of the rotunda, Templeton got on her knees and proposed formerly to Ferrell.
“One hundred and thirty days ago, I fell in love with somebody and her six-year-old mini me. I didn’t expect you to want to be with me … other than fight on the front lines with me. You have every single piece of my heart.”
Afterwards, they received their marriage license that authorizes them to be married within 30 days. Friends and supporters chanted “Black love matters” and “Revolutionary love!”
Templeton explained that they did not get formerly married immediately because they would like to plan a wedding party.
Under the mistaken impression that the gathering was meant for a demonstration, police officers were present at the City Hall. They were visible inside and outside the building. But activists told them that two Ferguson protest leaders were marrying.
Some protesters who attended had also thought that the two Ferguson protest leaders called the gathering through Twitter for a demonstration.
[Images: Twitter via BuzzFeed]