Pa250 Unit 1

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One of the basic rights we hold sacred in this country is the freedom to marry whomever we choose. While that seems like a given in the US, because we don’t have the strict class hierarchy of Europe, or the arranged unions found in certain Eastern and African cultures that define who marries whom. We have had, and still do for that matter, rigid restrictions on marriage, when they seem counter-intuitive to social mores. When social feelings begin to shift towards a more progressive outlook, challenges to the status quo are bound to occur, especially when the emotionally charged aspect of marriage is involved. Two perfect examples are the cases of Loving v. Virginia 388 US 1, 87 S Ct1817(1967), and Goodridge v. Department of Public Health 440 Mass 309, 798 NE 2d 941(Mass.2003). Loving v. Virginia (388 US 1, 1967) was a landmark case, dealing with inter-racial marriage, which went all the way to the US Supreme Court. The plaintiffs, Mildred and Richard Loving, an inter-racial couple, who were residents of Virginia, where at the time it was illegal for people of different races to be married. They went to Washington D.C. in June of 1958 to get married, and returned back to live a married couple in Virginia. Upon their return to Caroline County, Virginia they were charged with violating the law. The couple was charged when police invaded their home in the middle of the night, hoping to witness the Loving’s involved in a sexual act which was also a crime at the time in Virginia. When Mrs. Loving showed the police the marriage certificate, the police charged the couple with violating Virginia § 20-50 which, “prohibited interracial couples from being married out of state and then returning to Virginia.” As well as, Virginia § 20-59 that made “miscegenation” a felony. Black’s Law defines miscegenation as, “A marriage between persons of different races, formally considered illegal in some jurisdictions. In 1967, the US Supreme Court held that laws banning...
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