A gift from Mildred Loving

In June 2007, on the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Loving, Mildred Loving issued a statement that said:

“My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority[1] believed that what the judge[2]said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart,[3] and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.” [4][5][6]

 

  1.  At the time, less than 20% of Americans supported inter-racial marriage.[7]
  2. Referring to the Virginia judge who originally upheld the state’s ban on inter-racial marriage.[8]
  3. “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”
    — Opinion of Judge Leon M. Bazile, upholding Virginia’s ban on inter-racial marriage in Commonwealth v. Loving
  4. “Mildred Loving Endorses Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples”. American Constitution Society. June 15, 2007. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  5. Douglas Martin (June 18, 2007). “Mildred Loving, 40 Years Later”. The Atlantic. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  6. Douglas Martin (May 6, 2008). “Mildred Loving, Who Battled Ban on Mixed-Race Marriage, Dies at 68”. New York Times. Retrieved July 14,2018.
  7. “In U.S., 87% Approve of Black-White Marriage, vs. 4% in 1958”. Gallup. July 25, 2013.
  8. “Opinion of Judge Bazile in Commonwealth v. Loving (January 22, 1965)”. http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org. Archived from the original on November 28, 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-27.