National Loving Day!
"There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause." June 12, 1967 marks the day when the US Supreme Court made a landmark decision in the case Loving vs. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws in the country were now unlawful. In other words, any laws banning interracial marriages were now null and void. It seems like a lifetime ago that such a law actually existed but it did.
In 1958, Mildred and Richard Loving became husband and wife in Washington. However, when they returned to their hometown in Richmond, Virginia (unaware of the law), they were arrested. After pleading guilty to avoid imprisonment, they left the state and moved to the DC area. After contacting Attorney General Robert Kennedy, they were referred to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). The court ruled unanimously in their favor and here we are today!
Many people complain about their in-law's and how they are overly involved in their relationship. Or, their spouse discusses their marital issues with friends. Imagine what it would feel like if the country disagreed with the legitimacy of your marriage. Imagine if your neighbors and co-workers were constantly telling you you're with the wrong person. No matter how hard you tried to tell them that you love your spouse and that you and your spouse enjoy each other. But...they continue to disregard you and tell you your spouse is not for you and you need to leave them or lose your job. Or lose your friendships and family relations. That's what it can feel like even today when in an interracial relationship. The pressure couples can feel with outside opinions is nothing compared to what an interracial couple felt before the bravery of the Loving's.
Although not an official holiday in the US, many people take the time on social media to commemorate the strength of this couple who fought for their right to remain a married couple. For more about this couple and other couples from interracial relationships, pick up a copy of Tell the Court I Love My Wife: Race, Marriage, And Law--An American History.
Happy Loving Day!