Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mildred Loving - You Inspire Me

At this moment in history when the LGBT community is fighting for the right to marry, we've lost another hero in a different (but similar) right to marry battle. Mildred Loving, the African-American woman that took the right to marry inter-racially all the way to the Supreme Court passed away last Friday. Loving, a fitting name for this phenomenal woman, and her husband Richard faced jail time when they married in 1958. Though they lived in Virginia, where inter-racial marriage was illegal, they went to D.C. for their ceremony.

Does this sound familiar? People not allowed to marry the person they love in one state so they go to another state where this is allowed. But I digress.

Back to Loving, upon their return home, they were arrested and convicted on charges of "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." The couple was sentenced to a year in jail but were offered a second option - leave Virginia. Richard and Mildred left Virginia and moved to Washington D.C. It was while in D.C. that they started their legal battle against Virginia that went all the way to the high court.

In 1967, the Loving family had their victory. The Supreme Court of the U.S, under the direction of Chief Justice Earl Warren overruled all states that still outlawed inter-racial marriage. Any persons of any color could marry the person [of opposite sex] of their choice.

So the Supreme Court recognized human rights were being denied and they stepped up and did the right thing. But it took the undaunted courage of Richard and Mildred Loving to set this into motion.

Mildred Loving - you inspire me. The LGBT community should look to your audacity to fight for what's right as motivation as we continue with our right to marry battle.

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