An excerpt from "Pathways".
"Richard Loving was white. Mildred was African American. In 1958, they went to Washington DC to be married. Upon their return to their home in Virginia, they were arrested and jailed. They pled guilty to violating Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law, and were sentenced to a year in prison. The sentence was suspended for twenty-five years, on the condition that they leave Virginia. The couple relocated to Washington D.C. There was an injustice. They were not equal under the law.
Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924 divided the state’s citizenry into classifications, of which there were only two: "White" and "colored." The Act also defined "colored" as persons with any African or Native American ancestry (the "one drop rule"), and criminalized all marriages between "white" and "colored" persons.
The Lovings took the state of Virginia to court, and lost. The judge, Leon Bazile, stated "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."
Their lawyer, Bernard Cohen, led the appeals to the Supreme Court. These words were said in front of the highest court of the land in 1967: "The Lovings have the right to go to sleep at night knowing that if should they not wake in the morning, their children would have the right to inherit from them. They have the right to be secure in knowing that, if they go to sleep and do not wake in the morning, that one of them, a survivor of them, has the right to Social Security benefits. All of these are denied to them, and they will not be denied to them if the whole anti-miscegenistic scheme of Virginia is found unconstitutional."
In its ruling, the Supreme Court stated, "There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause."
48 years later, Loving v. Virginia was referenced in the decision that made same sex marriage legal in all 50 states:
"Applying these tenets, the Court has long held the right to marry is protected by the Constitution. For example, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12, invalidated bans on interracial unions…"
It does reveal that loving relationships matter.
One unique Loving relationship proved that and continued to benefit future generations.
If two people love each other, it doesn’t matter their race, sexual orientation or whether they are two straight people who have entered into a relationship. Love is love, and it is protected under the constitution. Two consenting adults have the right to marry, and to have all the legal protections that relationship offers.
Amendment 14, Section 1. "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
So the constitution doesn’t underline that last part…I do. It is the crux of the situation.
I was privileged recently to witness my second gay marriage in the state of Texas. Many are on the horizon as our nation steps into a new frontier. It is proof that love conquers all, and equality for all is something we must continue to strive for. Mildred and Richard Loving fought to ensure that others wouldn’t have to go through what they went through. Spencer Tracy was right. We should be very grateful."
Pathways is available via Kindle and paperback on Amazon.com!