New Highway Marker Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia Decision

The couple whose love brought down laws against interracial marriage is commemorated on a historical marker in Virginia's capital city.

Second, although identified as black during the Supreme Court case, Mildred Loving did not racially identify as such (or as a Negro or "colored" as she would have been during this time period). Beginning in 2013, it was cited as precedent in US federal court decisions holding restrictions on same-sex marriage in the United States unconstitutional, including in the 2015 Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges.

Loving Day was decided on June 12, 1967 - 50 years ago as of the publication of this article - to allow the legal marriage between Richard and Mildred Loving.

Citing earlier decisions in racial cases, but not involving interracial marriage, Warren said the Supreme Court consistently has repudiated distinctions between citizens exclusively due to their ancestry as being odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality. The ACLU represented the Lovings in court for the nine-year case. Richard, a white man, and Mildred, a black woman of Native American descent, were each sentenced to a year in jail and were forced to move away from Virginia. Although interracial marriage is legal now across the US, the two say they still face discrimination as a biracial couple. In 1963, the couple enlisted the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, which unsuccessfully sought to reverse their convictions in the state courts of Virginia and then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Fritzinger is white and his wife of about 10 years is black.

"You learn to compromise and live together and be married just like any other person that would be married someone of the same race", said Ross.

Richard and Mildred Loving were put in jail in 1958 for violating the commonwealth's prohibition on interracial marriage.

"They were convicted of the high crime of loving each other", Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said.

More news: Obama Calls GOP Healthcare Plan 'Massive Transfer' of Money to Richest Americans

Following their triumphant win, the Lovings returned to Virginia to raise their three children.

Despite the challenges, supporters of interracial marriage took to social media to express gratitude for the Lovings and solidarity for tolerance.

The marker now stands outside the former Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, which ruled against the Lovings. The state's first ban of interracial marriage goes back to 1691, Hirschkop reminded the justices. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the opinion that "the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and can not be infringed by the State".

Ever since the 2016 film, Loving starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton, was released, the story of Richard and Mildred Loving has reached a much wider audience.

Married in 2008, Angela Ross (center) and her husband D.J. live in Copper Hill, Va., with two of their five children, Jordis, 11 (left), and Marianna, 7. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.

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