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0 comments | Friday, January 29, 2010

You may not recognize this couple without the lavish backdrop of the wedding that was seen around the world when photos from their special day were lifted from their Facebook page and began to circulate online late last year.

Minnesota married couple Michael-Cole Smith & Jamil Smith-Cole may have endured months of criticism after being thrust into the spotlight but are now embracing their role as pioneers and role models for black gays and lesbians who desire to wed.

Minnesota's WCCO, an affiliate of CBS interviewed the pair and asked about the online controversy and their current work in the fight for equal rights for Minnesota's LGBT community.

"When the person took the e-mail and sent it out, it was probably meant for some type of evil, but a lot of good is coming from it, a lot of good is coming from it," he said.

"We were put on the forefront, the pictures are now a portrait of equal rights," Jamil added.

In October, the couple spoke at the State Capitol, pushing for same sex marriage.

"In the black community we're representing a group of people who are non- existent", says Michael during his October address.

When you see us I want you to see the people who aren't as fortunate. We want to be the face for all the young black kids who are coming up who have the desire (to be married) but it's being crushed;all of the young adults who are striving to find love like we have-because all of the words that are being used to describe marriage defines us-that's what we have".

"It's not a choice for us, it's just what comes natural. It's what we feel as human beings," Michael said. "I live here, I live in Minnesota, I need to be legal here. I need to have my marriage rights legal here in this state."

The Smith-Cole's were gracious enough to offer loldarian.com their first in depth interview following the online controversy and subsequent Morehouse College incident that cost one employee her job after she circulated a homophobic e-mail about the couple.

The pair are also a new addition to the growing list of faces of the NOH8 Campaign.


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