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Virginia Honors Pair Who Challenged Interracial Marriage Ban

Virginia Honors Pair Who Challenged Interracial Marriage Ban”

The couple was arrested a month after they got married for having violated Virginia's anti-miscegenation law and the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 that prohibited marriages between different races. In 1963, the couple enlisted the help of the ACLU, who unsuccessfully sought to reverse their convictions in the state courts of Virginia, but then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Lovings were jailed in 1958 for violating the Virginia's prohibition on interracial marriage. That ultimately led to a legal battle against Virginia's anti-miscegenation law that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court nearly a decade later.

Villet's photo essay, titled "The Lovings: An Intimate Portrait", captures Mildred and Richard when word of their civil rights battle was spreading throughout the country and the fate of their relationship remained unknown. Fifty years after Mildred and Richard Loving's landmark legal challenge shattered the laws against interracial marriage in the US, some couples of different races still talk of facing discrimination, disapproval and sometimes outright hostility from their fellow Americans.

At the unveiling, Floyd Thomas, who is a Caroline County supervisor, talked about how he knew Mildred Loving.

The marker now stands outside the former Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, which ruled against the Lovings.

Opinions about interracial marriages have shifted dramatically since the Loving ruling.

The Lovings pled guilty to "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth", and were sentenced to one year in prison.

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Their sentences were suspended on condition that they leave Virginia and not return together for at least 25 years.

"That is really important because I wouldn't be born and he wouldn't be born and he's my little brother and I kind of love him", he said.

"When I look at my husband I don't see a guy that's white".

In 2015, 17 percent of newlyweds - or at least 1 in 6 of newly married people - were intermarried, which means they had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity.

"We just ran into a lot of racism, a lot of issues, a lot of problems".

Before becoming a judge, Marshall was a lawyer who was best known for his high success rate in arguing before the Supreme Court and for the victory in Brown v. Board of Education, a 1954 decision that ruled that segregated public schools were unconstitutional.

As they head towards their 10th wedding anniversary next year, Angela and D.J. Ross say they're focused on providing a safe home for their family among the rolling, green hills outside of Roanoke, Va. Angela homeschools their two youngest daughters, Marianna and Jordis, in their garden and living room, where the windows overlook cows and horses grazing on farmland.

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