Happy Loving Day, Interracial Couples and Multiracial Community! If you have only ever known when interracial marriage was legal, you may not know what the fuss is about when people talk about Loving Day this and Loving Day that.
On June 12, 1967, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Loving v. Virginia. In the case, the Court held that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional. Prior to that there were sixteen holdout states that had bans on interracial marriage.
The above legend shows us the states where anti-misgenegation laws were never passed, the states that repealed the laws prior to 1867, states that repealed their laws before 1967 and the 16 holdout states.
The reason we call it Loving Day is after Mildred and Richard Loving. Mildred (née Jeter) was African American and Native American. Richard was of English and Irish descent. In 1958, they fell in love but because they lived in Virginia, they couldn’t get married. So they went to neighboring Washington, D.C., where it had been legal and they tied the knot. Knowing interracial marriage was against the law in Virginia during that time, although legally married, they couldn’t return to Virginia.
Eventually the Lovings did return to Virginia and were arrested. They wrote to then Attorney General Robert Kennedy (President John F. Kennedy’s younger brother) to ask for help. He referred them to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who took their case … all the way to the Supreme Court.
And Loving Day Was Born!
The Lovings won their case. Guess you figured that, didn’t you? This meant the states that had previously refused to allow interracial marriage had to repeal theirs. This occurred on June 12, 1967. There was one exception, however. Alabama didn’t overturn theirs until the year 2000!
And so today we see Mildred and Richard Loving as the ones who had the guts to take on the law and win, and so we honor them by celebrating the ban on anti-miscegenation laws by calling it Loving Day.
Since then, in communities across the United States and beyond, there are celebrations of the holding in this landmark decision in which people pay their respects to Mildred and Richard Loving (the interracial couple who instituted the lawsuit) and honor the rule of law that guarantees individual freedom such as the right to marry the person of your choosing.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the issuance of Loving v. Virginia, and we hope you will join us in commemorating Loving Day.
To that end, there are a number of exciting things happening in the Multiracial Community that we’d like to share with you. We would love to share them with you but you have to do one tiny thing: sign up to join our community and receive our free monthly newsletter.
I can tell you that this month’s newsletter is only about Loving Day, nothing else!
To sign up for the newsletter, click below:
Additionally, if you’d like to submit your own Loving Day story, like the one I wrote yesterday called Color Struck, click below to submit your essay (or anything else for that matter).
And last, but definitely not least, if you’d like to have us turn a photo of your interracial relationship and/or multiracial family into a #LovingPortrait, like this one:
then click here:
Map courtesy of Creative Commons/Wikimedia
In addition to being the founders of Multiracial Media, both Sarah and Alex are writers and opinionated ones at that. They like to write about many topics, including: politics (encompassing issues on race, gender, the LGBTQ—U.S. and geopolitics), current events (which could, of course, encompass politics), pop culture, culture and many, many others. The Letter from the Editor may cover our thoughts on current events or on-gonig issues that are important to the Multiracial Community. You never know what we’re going to write about and it may even include some humor, since Alex is a stand-up comic.