National Loving Day celebrates interracial marriage and the precedence set for same sex marriage by commemorating the anniversary of the June 12th, 1967 US Supreme Court decision Loving vs. Virginia. This decision struck down all anti-miscegenation laws (which are laws enforcing racial segregation at the level of marriage and relationships) remaining in the 16 US states.
Mildred Loving (Black, White, and Native – Cherokee and Rappahannock tribes) and her husband Richard Loving (White) dated and fell in love in high school. Upon 18 they decided to marry; however this wasn’t allowed due to their home state’s (Virginia) anti-miscegenation law (Racial Integrity Act of 1924). So, the couple travelled to Washington DC where they tied the knot and then returned home together to live, officially married.
A few weeks later, on the early morning of July 11th, 1958, sheriffs and deputies stormed their bedroom on an anonymous tip. The couple pointed at the marriage certificate on the wall, but the cops claimed that it held no power as Virginia’s law forbade Black and White citizens from going out of state to marry and returning to live together. The couple were then arrested and spent time in Jail, where Richard spent a night and pregnant Mildred spent several more.
Eventually they plead guilty, were ordered to leave the state, and not return together for 25 years. Reluctantly abiding by these orders, the Lovings paid their court fees and moved to Washington, D.C. where they had 3 kids and raised their family. Throughout this time they visited friends and family back home on mostly separate occasions, but eventually, secretly lived in Virginia again despite the risk of imprisonment.
Finally the Lovings have had enough and Mildred reached out for legal help. Their case first went to the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, where the original ruling was still upheld and unsatisfied with these results, it was then moved forward to the US Supreme Court. The USCC held that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
For all the multiracial relatives, those in interracial marriages, same sex marriages – this day recognizes that love wins. And that there will always be a future for that ❤️
- Mildred Loving Biography. Editors. The website. A&E; Television Networks. Last Updated: August 11, 2020. Original Published Date: April 2, 2014
Posted: June 8th, 2023