Marriage in America

Interesting blog post yesterday from Bernard S. Cohen and Evan Wolfson, on HuffPo. It was written to commemorate the 40th anniversary of a landmark US Supreme Court decision in a case called Loving v. Virginia. The story behind it is quite interesting:
Mildred Jeter, part African-American and part Cherokee, and Richard Loving, a white man, left their home state, Virginia, in order to get married where their love was allowed. Upon return, the couple was arrested in their bedroom for the "crime" of violating Virginia's race restrictions on who could marry whom, convicted of marrying the "wrong" kind of person, and given a choice of a year in prison or 25 years exile from their home state. The Lovings chose exile and then sued to defend their marriage. The Virginia Supreme Court upheld the trial court's ruling that, "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay, and red, and he placed them on separate continents.... The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down race restrictions on marriage, declaring, "The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men."
What was fascinating to me was that 70% of the American public was opposed to interracial marriage at the time. Seventy percent! The fact that the US Supreme Court unanimously overruled the Virginia Court decision against such staggering popular opinion is a real testament to the integrity of the Supreme Court justices of the day.

I just think that's a great story. Here's the blog post.


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