Today is Loving Day, a commemoration of the Loving vs. Virginia U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage, and a day that “fights racial prejudice through education and builds multicultural community.” The holiday takes on additional meaning this year with a president who is himself the product of an interracial marriage.
As we celebrate the fall of one prejudicial law today, however, it is worth quoting from Mildred Loving’s statement of June 12, 2007, the 40th anniversary of the decision:
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.
President Obama, are you listening?