Before the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision, they were a couple who just wanted to be married.
HBO premieres a new documentary tomorrow, appropriately enough on St. Valentine’s Day and in the middle of Black History Month, about Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple whose marriage led to the Supreme Court’s 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision that struck down bans on interracial marriage that were still in effect in 16 states.
I’m setting the DVR to record this program, and encourage everyone else to watch it as well. Meanwhile, in advance of the airing of this new documentary, here is a compendium of recent news articles and blog posts about this amazing couple and the strength they displayed in the face of rank discrimination.
Here’s a trailer for the HBO documentary, The Loving Story, and here’s a link to HBO’s homepage for the program.
This great story in the Daily Mail gives an excellent overview of the Loving’s story, and includes a collection of photographs of Richard, Muriel, their children and their extended family.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program has prepared a teacher’s guide for the documentary that can help you use it as an educational opportunity for your family. It’s available via the HBO site above, or directly from the SPLC, a fine organization that could always use your financial support.
Kate Sheppard contributes an essay on the documentary and her own observations as a partner in an interracial marriage at Mother Jones.
Mildred Loving issued a statement in 2007 in which she supported the goal of marriage equality for same-sex couples.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry.
I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry.
I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.
I also wrote about the Lovings, and two other marriages that changed the world, in a blog post I drafted in the wake of Proposition 8′s passage in California entitled Three Marriages. I hope you enjoy it.