Virginia honors pair who challenged interracial marriage ban

Allison Williams and Daniel Kaluuya star in Jordan Peele's Get Out. Click here for a review

Allison Williams and Daniel Kaluuya star in Jordan Peele's Get Out. Click here for a review

Nearly a decade later on June 12th 1967 the U.S Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Lovings, striking down laws banning mixed-race marriages in 16 states, including Virginia.

The Lovings were jailed in 1958 for violating Virginia's prohibition on interracial marriage.

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

The historical marker is placed alongside the Richmond building that once housed the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, which ruled against the Lovings before their U.S. Supreme Court victory. The court, noted Governor Terry McAuliffe, that initially upheld the anti-miscegenation law that triggered the Loving's convictions.

The couple whose love and commitment to each other helped end Virginia's law banning interracial marriage was honored Monday with a state historical marker.

But in the unanimous 1967 U.S. Supreme Court opinion, Chief Justice Earl Warren said the state's argument — that the policy was necessary to preserve racial integrity — was "obviously an endorsement of the doctrine of White Supremacy".

As Mildred Loving put it in the ABC News report from 1967 below, "I say I think that marrying who you want to is a right that no man should have anything to do with". The Loving v. Virginia case ended all cases based on interracial marriages not only in Virginia but all of the United States.

In 2017, the Academy Awards nominated Ruth Negga for an Oscar as Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Mildred Loving in the film "Loving".

Richard Loving died in 1975 at the age of 41 when a drunk driver ran into his auto. They fought the law to the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down Virginia's law and similar ones in about one-third of the states.

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