Loving Day is a celebration of the Supreme Court decision on June 12th, 1967 to allow people of any ethnic background to marry people of any ethnic background. Of course it would take another thirty-three years for the unconstitutionality of laws forbidding marriage between people of a different race to become enforced in all fifty states. The name, Loving Day comes from the original interracial couple: Richard and Mildred Loving who took their case to the Supreme Court when they were ordered by the state of Virginia to move out of Virginia, or go to jail after they married. For a compelling look at their story, and resources to connect you to Loving Day activities, or how to host your own please see this link to the newly founded popular and successful site Mixed and Happy.
When I read the article above, and considered the bravery of the Lovings, I was reminded how much I owe to them in the formation of my own family. I take for granted how “easy” it was for me to adopt a child of color, and to choose to create a mixed race child, and call us all a family, full stop.
I did a little research and discovered that my home state of Maine was one of the first eleven states in the country to repeal it’s anti-miscegenation law before 1887. In Maine it has been legal to marry one of any ethnicity (the original law forbid a white person to marry a Black or a Native American person in 1821) since 1883. I did wonder, at one point when I went in to tell my principal over three years ago that I was pregnant, unmarried and carrying a mixed race baby, what his response might have been say twenty-five years ago? Would he have been justified if he let me go on the spot?
Our Loving Day family celebration will involve a t-ball game, a post game BBQ with all the other members of the team, and some reflection on my part as to how to bring this message home a little deeper to those that I love and cherish. At the same time, I feel re-committed to making certain that all people, irregardless of race or gender, who love each other, and who choose to become married, should be given the opportunity to do so.
What are you thankful for this Loving day?