Let’s celebrate the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia by getting our facts straight.
Loving did NOT legalize interracial marriage in the United States. It legalized interracial marriage in the 15 states that STILL had anti-miscegenation laws that prevented such marriages.
Repeating this untruth actually undermines the legacy of our American heroes Mildred and Richard Loving because it was their LEGAL marriage in Washington, D.C. in June 1958 and subsequent prosecution in Virginia that began their saga on the road to the Supreme Court.
Repeating this untruth obscures the legacy of the state legislatures that repealed their anti-miscegenation laws before Loving v. Virginia.
Repeating this untruth obscures the legacy of the states (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Wisconsin, District of Columbia, Hawaii and Alaska) which NEVER enacted anti-miscegenation laws.
Repeating this untruth obscures the legacy of over 100 years of litigation against such laws including the unsuccessful Pace v. Alabama (1883), the successful Perez v. Sharp (1948) which legalized interracial marriage in California, and McLaughlin v. Florida (1964) which voided the cohabitation aspect of the Florida’s anti-miscegenation law. These cases and others laid the groundwork for the successful outcome of Loving v. Virginia.
For more information about Loving v. Virginia see these posts:http://www.mixedracestudies.org/wordpress/?tag=loving-v-virginia