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The Loving Story

Kate Sheppard wrote last year about Mildred and Richard Loving, the couple whose 1967 case before the US Supreme Court ended forever the restrictions on inter-racial marriage in the US.

Even as they changed America, the Lovings were never a household name. After getting married in Washington, DC, in June 1958, they simply returned to their home in Central Point, Virginia. Mildred was unaware, she said, of her state’s “Racial Integrity Act,” a 1924 law forbidding interracial marriage—although she later added that she thought her husband knew about it but didn’t figure they’d be persecuted.

Just over a month after the Lovings’ homecoming, police raided their place at 2 a.m., arrested the couple, and threw them in jail. Leon Bazile, a judge for the Caroline County Circuit Court, convicted them on felony charges. “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay, and red, and he placed them on separate continents,” the judge wrote. “The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

A documentary The Loving Story was aired on HBO last year to excellent reviews. Here’s the trailer.

Unfortunately the DVD is apparently not yet released. But an interview with director Nancy Buirski gives us more glimpses of the Lovings and their story.

It is hard to imagine that this story took place as recently as 1967. But very soon, young people will be equally incredulous that as late as 2013 same sex couples could still not be legally married in most parts of the country and the world.

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