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Loving for All

Richard and Mildred Loving were plaintiffs in the historic Supreme Court ruling Loving v. Virginia, which struck down race restrictions on the freedom to marry.  What follows is Mildred Loving’s public statement delivered on June 12, 2007, the 40th Anniversary of the decision.
Author
Mildred Loving
Grade Level

Source
Republished with permission from "Freedom To Marry"
Text Dependent Questions
Question
Why did Mildred and Richard Loving get married in Washington, D.C.?
Answer
They were unable to be married in their home state of Virginia because interracial marriage was illegal there.
Question
What personal religious belief did the lower court judge use to defend his guilty verdict in the Loving case?
Answer
He argued that god had created different races and put them on separate continents, therefore showing that it was against god’s will for people of different races to “mix.”
Question
Does Mildred Loving believe all people should have the freedom to marry? How do you know?
Answer
Student responses should cite this in the text: “I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.”
Question
How did the lower court judge rule in the Lovings’ case?
Answer
They were ruled guilty and punished to one year in jail or to be exiled from the state of Virginia for 25 years.
Question
Cite the text to show how the Virginia court’s decision differed from the Supreme Court’s decision in the Loving
case.
Answer
The Virginia judge declared that “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay [sic] and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that “the freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” a “basic civil right.”