Loving Day celebrations mark 50th anniversary of legal interracial marriage

Posted at 9:27 AM, Jun 12, 2017

Virginia became the first U.S. state to permanently recognize Loving Day, the anniversary of a Supreme Court decision to ban all laws against interracial marriage in the United States.

Loving Day was decided on June 12, 1967 — 50 years ago as of the publication of this article — to allow the legal marriage between Richard and Mildred Loving.

This is the 14th year of celebrations, though the first time a state has agreed to permanently recognize the day, according to lovingday.org. 

The couple was charged with unlawful cohabitation and jailed in 1958 after a black 17-year old woman, Mildred Jeter married Richard Loving, a 23-year-old white construction worker, according to the ACLU.

The couple got married in Washington D.C. but were arrested when the two visited family in Virginia. The ACLU represented the Lovings in court for the nine-year case. The court ruled unanimously in the Lovings' favor. 

In 2017, the Academy Awards nominated Ruth Negga for an Oscar as Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Mildred Loving in the film "Loving." 

Today, 10 percent of all married people are in an interracial or interethnic marriage, according to lovingday.org, while 17 percent of newlyweds are married to a person of a "different race or ethnicity." 

Meanwhile, lovingday.org reported 11 percent of Americans do not approve of interracial marriages, according to a 2013 Gallup Poll. 

Celebrations are taking place in communities throughout the country.