At the time of this decision, 16 states had laws which banned relationships and marriages between interracial couples. Many of these laws and ordinances forbade relationships not only between whites and blacks, but between other ethnic groups including Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc. Thirteen years after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, the Loving v. Virginia decision erased one of the final tenants and laws of a segregated society.
After the Supreme Court's decision, the Lovings lived happily together for a short time until 1975, when Richard Loving was killed in a car accident. Mildred never remarried and passed away in 2008, but not without making another brave showing of support for the right to love — and marry — whomever you chose.
When the Loving case was referenced in 2007 in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, a case which addresses the issue of gay marriage and is currently pending before the Supreme Court, Mildred Loving issued a statement of support. "I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry …," she said. "I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about."
For more information on Loving Day and to see how you can celebrate the important day, visit www.LovingDay.org.