Today is the anniversary of the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Loving V Virginia, which struck down state laws forbidding interracial marriage.
Loving was the surname of the married couple challenging Virginia’s anti-interracial marriage law.
I remember a literature class I took in college where we read The Great Gatsby. The professor discussed the symbolism of character names. While Loving V Virginia was a factual event and not a work of fiction, Loving being forever attached to that ruling is probably what she was talking about.
Back in March, Senator Mike Braun from Indiana went public disagreeing with the ruling. He later back peddled, saying he wasn’t against interracial marriage, he just felt it was a state issue.
Wow, do I disagree with him 200%!
I believe the state should only make laws that protect the rights and safety of its citizens. The US Constitution is also there to protect the rights of the citizens—and there to step in if a state tries to infringe on those rights.
I can’t think of a single legit reason to make interracial marriage illegal. Not one. As long as it involves two consenting adults, then what possible reason could the state have in making such a law to forbid it?
Some people say the Constitution does not specifically mention interracial marriage. Perhaps the Constitution doesn’t, but during the founding of this country the Declaration of Independence made the bold assertion that we are entitled to the “pursuit of happiness.” While it never expressly mentions what types of pursuits are covered, I think most Americans would agree that being unable to marry the person you love would greatly hinder your pursuit of happiness.
Some people argue that social norms have a place in law making. They want a society that conforms to shared values. Well, since a recent Gallup poll showed 94% U.S. adults approve of marriage between Black and White people, that’s a moot point.
And unless that marriage hurts another person—such as forcing a child or unwilling adult to be one’s spouse—then I don’t understand why states should be allowed to pass such laws.
So, to politicians like Braun, please focus that how to make us safer and don’t attempt to needlessly hinder our unalienable rights.
Happy Loving Day!