Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Road to Equality Has Been Long

We've noted before and will note again how Richard and Mildred Loving helped advance the US towards marriage equality, with their famous Loving v. Virginia court case that struck down bans on the (limited monogamous heterosexual) interracial freedom to marry. At I found this piece by Marian Wright Edelman that includes the letter Mildred wrote to Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
Mr. Loving may not have known how the state would treat legal interracial marriages that had been performed elsewhere, but five weeks after their wedding the newlyweds received a very literal rude awakening. Acting on a “tip,” sheriff’s deputies surrounded their bed with flashlights at 2 a.m. demanding to know why they were there together. Their reply that they were husband and wife made no difference. The Lovings were arrested. Mr. Loving was held in jail overnight while the pregnant Mrs. Loving was forced to stay for several days. Both were charged with cohabitation and violating Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act. Under a plea bargain, in order to avoid a yearlong jail sentence, they were forced to leave the state and were prohibited from returning together for 25 years.
What an outrage!

It's a good thing they won, all the way back in the 1960s. Progress has continued. Let's make sure we get to full marriage equality sooner rather than later, so that an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, is free to marry any and all consenting adults.
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