Utne Blogs > Politics

The Loving Story

by Danielle Magnuson


Tags: Loving v. Virginia, Defense of Marriage Act, racism, discrimination, gay marriage, politics, Humanities, Danielle Magnuson,

Mildred and Richard Loving

Check out the January/February 2012 issue of Humanities magazine for a terrific article about the historic U.S. Supreme Court case that gave interracial couples the legal right to marry in the United States. At the heart of the case is a couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, whose uncompromising love survived despite a hostile environment, multiple arrests for living together as husband and wife, and an eventual 25-year banishment decree from their home state of Virginia. According to Humanities:

It’s hard not to notice the striking similarity between the Racial Integrity Act, struck down by Loving v. Virginia in 1967, and the Defense of Marriage Act. Both rely on morally weighted language (“integrity” and “defense”), trying to disguise what the laws really are: one racist and one homophobic, both profoundly discriminatory.

Another detail that bears mentioning as the world discusses whether or not loving couples should have the legal right to marry: The Lovings were not exactly activists looking to rattle the nation, just everyday people trying to go about their everyday life:

Note: See the new HBO documentary, The Loving Story, about the Loving v. Virginia case.

Source: Humanities 

Image by Grey Villet, Courtesy HBO.

Danielle Magnuson is an associate editor at Utne Reader. Follow her on Twitter @DnlMag.