Opinion: A Look Back (at LIO Fellow) Mildred Loving

…from one beneficiary of the effort to legalize inter-racial marriage at the legendary meeting between Paul Gilson of the LIO and his pal RFK Jr. with Loving–also attended by the young MG who founded www.libertarian-institute.info. The effort continues into Gay marriage, said the reclusive Loving to the LIO  www.libertarianinternational.org

 Moving piece at: http://www.policymic.com/articles/51463/supreme-court-doma-the-supreme-court-made-my-marriage-legal-too-in-1967/660261

Carly Pildis is a Political Organizer who has spent her career fighting for social/economic justice and equality. She has worked on a variety of issue campaigns and recently finished work on the Obama campaign. When she isn’t working, she enjoys wandering her neighborhood farmer’s market, watching Boston based sports teams…

…I am getting married March 30. My fiancée and I have picked the venue (a hotel garden with views of the Potomac River), the dress code (black tie), and the theme (cherry blossoms). Today when I read that the Defense of Marriage Act had been ruled unconstitutional, I was overwhelmed with an enormous sense of joy and relief — the kind of joy that can only be felt when you witness your country siding with equality and you are privileged to witness justice finally being served. A joy that comes with an enormous amount of pride in being an American, and a belief that our country, however flawed, eventually does the right thing. I feel a kinship with everyone in this country who has been denied marriage equality, because my marriage at one point would have been illegal. The big spring wedding I am planning is to someone who’s not of my race, and it took a Supreme Court ruling to make it legal in every state.

Richard and Mildred Loving were married in 1958. They drove the 80 miles from their hometown in Virginia, where anti-miscegenation laws made their union illegal, to Washington, D.C. and got married. They were young, in love, and expecting a child. They hoped that by marrying in D.C., they would be able to dodge the law. They weren’t civil rights activists, they were childhood friends who fell in love and wanted to be a family. Within a month of their marriage, an anonymous tip led authorities to their home.  At 2:00 am authorities woke the couple, sleeping in bed, and arrested them, using their D.C. marriage license as evidence. They were charged with violating Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act, and sentenced to a year in jail. They were given the option of leaving Virginia for 25 years to avoid jail and they agreed to move. However, after five years in Washington, the couple missed their farming community in Virginia, and reached out to the ACLU for help. When they were told their case would go to the Supreme Court they were shocked. “They just were in love with one another and wanted the right to live together as husband and wife in Virginia, without any interference from officialdom,” their lawyer Bernard Cohen said.  On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court sided with the Loving family and ruled the Virginia Racial Integrity Act unconstitutional. The Supreme Court additionally overturned a similar law in Alabama and ended all race-based restrictions on marriage in the United States.

There is a unique horror in being ripped out of the arms of the person you love by the government, simply because of who you are. The idea keeps me up at night. I am an engaged woman and, as is appropriate, I am incredibly in love… http://www.policymic.com/articles/51463/supreme-court-doma-the-supreme-court-made-my-marriage-legal-too-in-1967/660261

One comment

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