Today marks the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the remaining interracial marriage bans in 16 states in the U.S. I needn’t belabor the parallel between the struggle to end interracial-marriage bans and our current fight to legalize same-sex marriage—most readers here know it all too well.
Loving Day has much more in celebration of the Loving decision, including a neat interactive map that lets you see which states restricted interracial couples during every year from 1662 and 1967, a courtroom history of the cases that led to the Supreme Court, and stories of real couples affected by the ruling. It’s good reading for anyone, including children old enough to take an interest in civil rights and history.
Tying it in with the struggle for LGBT rights, Freedom to Marry has joined with a number of groups, LGBT and not, to celebrate Loving:
1. as a milestone in the fight against racial inequality,
2. for its importance in securing the freedom to marry as a civil right,
3. for its embodiment of the importance of social justice activism and independent courts, and
4. for its relevance to today’s ongoing battles against unfair exclusion from marriage.
Here’s to those who went before us in the fight for marriage equality.