What did the United States legalization of mixed-race marriages mean to you?

Posted June 26, 2017

But state officials will mark the occasion by dedicating a "Loving v. Virginia" historical highway marker.

It sits near the former site of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, where the case was heard before it reached the higher court.

But when police raided their Central Point home in 1958 and found a pregnant Mildred in bed with her husband and a District of Columbia marriage certificate on the wall, they arrested them, leading the Lovings to plead guilty to cohabitating as man and wife in Virginia.

March 7, 1966: The Virginia Supreme Court upholds the state's anti-miscegenation law but rules that the trial court should not have forced the couple to leave the state. Beginning in 2013, it was cited as precedent in USA federal court decisions holding restrictions on same-sex marriage in the United States unconstitutional, including in the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges.

Philip Hirschkop was one of the lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union who argued the Lovings' case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967.

"It gives me hope for my daughter who is biracial so that when she goes to fall in love and marry somebody maybe she won't get the whispers and looks my wife and I get, and she won't get the condemnation the Lovings got", he said. Fifty years after Mildred and Richard Loving's landmark legal challenge shattered the laws against interracial marriage in the USA, some couples of different races still talk of facing discrimination, disapproval and sometimes outright hostility from their fellow Americans.

January 6, 1959: While standing trial, the Lovings decide to plead guilty as part of a deal in which the court sentences them to a year in jail but "suspend (s) said sentence ... upon the provision that both accused leave ... the state of Virginia at once and not return together ... for a period of 25 years".

Arrested for marrying each other, the case of Loving versus Virginia changed race-based restrictions on the right to marry.

Speaking for a unanimous court, Warren said the Virginia law rests exclusively upon distinctions drawn according to race.

Richard Loving died in 1975, Mildred Loving in 2008. "I definitely don't rent to mixed couples, '" Farrell said. Currently, 11 million people - or 1 out of 10 married people - in the United States have a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Loving, how did you do that?' She looked up at me and said 'I just want to get married.' That was her whole motivation.

The share of newlyweds in interracial marriages has grown sharply. If they both had lived, this would have been their 50th wedding anniversary. "It's just us here".