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Richard and Mildred Loving
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    Born in Caroline County, Virginia
    Richard Loving (October, 1933-June 29, 1975)
    Mildred Loving (1939-May 2, 2008), birth name was Mildred Jeter
    Richard was white; Mildred was black and Rappahanock Indian
    Five weeks their marriage, were arrested for violating the Virginia law against miscegenation (1958)
    Sentenced to one year in prison, which was suspended on the condition that they leave the state for 25 years
    Wrote to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy for help
    Kennedy referred them to the ACLU which took their case
    Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that laws banning interracial marriages were unconstitutional (June 12, 1967)
    Subject of the film 'Mr. and Mrs. Loving' (1996)
    They began courting when Mildred was 11 and Richard was 17.
    They married when Mildred became pregnant.
    When they wanted to visit family in Virginia, they got around the ban on returning to the state 'together' by driving separate cars.
    Mildred said of the film 'Mr. and Mrs. Loving,' 'The only part of it right was I had three children.'
    They had a perfect name for a marriage rights case.
    Richard told his attorney, 'Mr. Cohen, tell the court I love my wife and it is just unfair that I can't live with her in Virginia.'
    Mildred said the lesson from their case was 'If you're pursuing something and you know it's right, not to give up.'
    A collision with a drunk driver killed Richard and cost Mildred her right eye.
    On the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, Mildred issued a statement supporting same-sex marriage, noting 'Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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