06 May 2008

Rest in Peace, Mildred Loving

Mildred Loving died yesterday at age 68. 41 years ago, she challenged the state of Virginia for the right to marry the person she loved. In what may be the most appropriately named court case ever, Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court struck down laws banning racially mixed marriages in at least 17 states.

Last year, on the 40th anniversary of that ruling, Loving said:

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 hope that years from now, our friends' children and grandchildren will find the idea that Aunt Ruth and Aunt Nancy couldn't get married because they're both girls as incomprehensible as they would the idea that we couldn't get married because she's white and I'm black.

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