HRC Blog

Today: 46th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia Decision

Today marks the 46th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Loving v. Virginia, a landmark decision that struck down all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.

The case was brought by Mildred and Richard Loving – a black woman and a white man – who had been sentenced to a year in prison because their marriage violated Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute.

Chief Justice Earl Warren penned the unanimous opinion, writing:

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law.

Today, as we await rulings from the Supreme Court on two historic same-sex marriage cases, we celebrate the Lovings’ landmark victory for equality.

Visit hrc.org/supremecourt to show your support for marriage equality and learn more about some of the ways the court could rule.

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