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Loving vs. Virgina

By | November 2005
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LOVING v. VIRGINIA

Can you imagine not being able to share your life with the person you love because of the color of your skin? Well, this was the case for those who resided in Virginia decades ago. Interracial marriages were not allowed in Virginia and sixteen other states due to the adoption of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. The sole purpose of this act was to completely prohibit a "white person" marrying other than another "white person". Marriage licenses were not issued until the issuing official is content with the applications statements as to if their races are "correct". Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, a black woman, was not going to let the state of Virginia stop them from being married, so they left the state in June of 1958 to get married in the District of Columbia, where interracial marriages were permitted. This was the rise of the Loving v. Virginia case.

Not too long after their marriage, the Lovings returned back to the state of Virginia to live their life together. However, the Circuit Court of Caroline County issued an indictment charging them with violating Virginia's law on interracial marriages. On January 6, 1969, the Lovings pleaded guilty and were charged to a sentence for up to one year in jail. However, the sentence could be suspended if the couple left the state of Virginia and did not return together for twenty-five years. The trial judge stated in his opinion, that: "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

Having no other choice, the couple moved back to the District of Columbia in Washington D. C. to be together. They soon initiated a suit in 1963 challenging the constitutionality of the anti-miscegenation law. The two believed that the...
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