“We Were Married on the Second Day of June, and the Police Came After Us the 14th of July.”

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-11-13 23:21Z by Steven


“We Were Married on the Second Day of June, and the Police Came After Us the 14th of July.”

The Washingtonian

Hillary Kelly, Design & Style Editor

Richard and Mildred Loving. Photograph by Grey Villet.

An oral history, nearly 50 years later, of the landmark Virginia case that legalized interracial marriage—and is the subject of a talked-about movie out this month.

In June 1958, Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving drove from their home in Central Point, Virginia, to Washington, DC, to be married. Twenty-four states, including Virginia, still outlawed interracial marriage at the time. Mildred was part Native American and part African-American; Richard was white. Their union would eventually result in their banishment from the state and a nine-year legal battle.

On November 4, almost 50 years after the Supreme Court’s 1967 decision that the Lovings’ marriage was valid—and that marriage is a universal right—Hollywood is set to release Loving, already on Oscar lists. As director Jeff Nichols explained when asked why he took on the project, “We have very painful wounds in this country, and they need to be brought out into the light. And it’s gonna be an awkward, uncomfortable, painful conversation that’s going to continue for a while.”

The movie focuses on Mildred and Richard’s romance. We looked behind the scenes of the struggle itself, talking to insiders including the couple’s attorneys—then just out of law school—to revisit the case. One remarkable aspect: Unlike other civil-rights champions of their era, the Lovings never set out to change the course of history. “What happened, we real­ly didn’t intend for it to happen,” Mildred said in 1992. “What we wanted, we wanted to come home.”

This is the story of how a quiet couple from rural Virginia brought about marriage equality for themselves, and for all…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Opinion/Commentary: The facts behind loving, law, and ‘Loving’

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-11-13 21:44Z by Steven

Opinion/Commentary: The facts behind loving, law, and ‘Loving’

The Daily Progress
Charlottesville, Virginia

Jeff E. Schapiro, Politics columnist
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia

Focus Features via AP
Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga protray an interracial couple from Virginia whose romance and marraiage made history. The story or Richard and Mildred Loving is told, Hollywood-style in the movie “Loving.”

In 1963, Bernie Cohen, a lawyer in Alexandria, was representing Richard and Mildred Loving, a mixed-race couple from Virginia facing a predicament considered unthinkable today: They’d been banished from the state for 25 years for violating its prohibition on interracial marriage.

Living in Washington, D.C., where interracial marriage was legal and where they were wed in 1958, the Lovings wanted to return home, to rural Caroline County. To get there would require a long journey through the courts.

Having lost the initial challenge in state court, Cohen consulted with his constitutional law professor at Georgetown University, Chester Antieau. He introduced Cohen to another former student, Phil Hirschkop.

Cohen and Hirschkop were alike: Both were Jewish boys from Brooklyn who had settled in segregationist Harry Byrd’s Virginia. They also were liberals, committed to racial equality and social justice at a time when both could be scarce, especially in the American South.

It was Cohen’s and Hirschkop’s different legal backgrounds — the former was a trial lawyer; the latter, a civil rights lawyer — that would bring them together for the successful battle that concluded with a 1967 ruling by a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court voiding Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute and those of 15 other states.

The decision allowed the Lovings — he was white; she was black — to openly live out their days in Caroline County.

Ahead of the 50th anniversary of a ruling on marriage equality that would presage the Supreme Court order legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015, a new film by Jeff Nichols, the writer-director, recounts the couple’s ordeal…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,