Loving filed a motion to the Virginia Caroline County

Loving vs. VirginiaLoving vs. Virginia is a past Supreme Court Case regarding interracial marriage. Since the creation of the state no opposing color marriages was allowed. Interracial  marriage only became legal in 1967. Regarding interracial marriage, the laws in Virginia were very strict, no white man or woman could marry a person of the opposite sex who were colored. The legalisation of interracial marriage was made possible by one couple, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter.

This couple got married in the District of Columbia where different colored marriage was allowed. After they were happily married they moved back to Virginia to set up a life together. Unfortunately, the laws had a different idea. After moving to Virginia the couple was charged and arrested for violating one of Virginia’s codes which was: Leaving State to evade law. The punishment for their “crime” was a minimum of one and a maximum of five years in jail.

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However, their local judge let them flee the state and go back to Washington D.C. After living there for five years and raising three kids in the process, Mildred found a way to get their voice heard. She wrote a letter to Robert F. Kennedy in 1963 seeking counsel. Kennedy told her to go to the ACLU. This stands for American Civil Rights Union, an organization that seeks to protect the constitutional rights of all citizens.

 The ACLU then filed a motion to the Virginia Caroline County Circuit Court voicing the Loving’s case. Both the couple and the ACLU felt that there fourteenth amendment rights were being violated. This group then represented the couple in the landmark Supreme Court Case known as Loving v. Virginia. After going to the Supreme Court, the case was unanimously voted on.

The Lovings won. The judges felt that preventing the couple from living in Virginia was unconstitutional.  This decision was supported by the Equal Protection Clause which explains that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws”. After the Supreme Court heard this case in June of 1967, they unanimously voted that the law banning interracial marriage in Virginia was unconstitutional and that the Lovings should be able to be married and live in Virginia. The judges felt that this law was violating the 14th amendment of United States. This decision declared that not only could the Lovings stay in Virginia, but that all interracial marriage prohibition laws become invalidated.

The effect of this case is still present today because since then mixed race marriage has risen from three percent of couples to seventeen percent in 2015. A white family opposing a family member from marrying outside of their ethnicity has dropped from 63 percent in 1990 to fourteen percent in 2016, according to a Pew report. Having this marriage be legal in all states has helped decreased the opposition to interracial marriage.