The Loving Story


If you've got HBO and did not get a chance to watch their documentary, The Loving Story this week, it reairs in May. In the wake of the two hearings by the Supreme Court on gay marriage, the film serves as a stark reminder for how we're likely to be viewed by future generations for the rhetoric and animosity we're seeing to same-sex couples being allowed to be married today.

Here's more on the documentary from Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones: "The Loving Story": How an Interracial Couple Changed a Nation:

The most striking thing about Mildred and Richard Loving is that they never wanted to be known. They didn't want to change history or face down racism. They just wanted to come home to Virginia to be near their families. The Lovings weren't radicals. They were just two people in love—one of them a taciturn white guy described by one of their lawyers as a "redneck," the other a sweet, soft-spoken young woman of black and American Indian ancestry.

When the The Loving Story makes its national debut on HBO on Valentine's Day, it will be the first time many Americans have met this couple. They are the namesake of the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case that struck down the anti-miscegenation laws still on the books in 16 states some 13 years after school segregation was deemed unconstitutional. These laws constituted one of the last formal vestiges of the Jim Crow era, and this film shows for the first time what it took to bring them down.

Even as they changed America, the Lovings were never a household name. After getting married in Washington, DC, in June 1958, they simply returned to their home in Central Point, Virginia. Mildred was unaware, she said, of her state's "Racial Integrity Act," a 1924 law forbidding interracial marriage—although she later added that she thought her husband knew about it but didn't figure they'd be persecuted.

Just over a month after the Lovings' homecoming, police raided their place at 2 a.m., arrested the couple, and threw them in jail. Leon Bazile, a judge for the Caroline County Circuit Court, convicted them on felony charges. "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay, and red, and he placed them on separate continents," the judge wrote. "The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." Read on...

Mediaite had something interesting posted on the same topic, which is a quiz to see if readers can tell the difference between actual anti-interracial and anti-gay marriage quotes. As they noted:

Whether it’s condemning homosexuality as “unnatural” and “immoral,” or comparing gay relationships to “armed robbery” and “marrying your dog,” or simply “thumping the Bible” as the primary means to argument, many of the opponents of same-sex marriage sound an awful lot like those who so vocally opposed miscegenation, the marriage between races.


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