Loving and the Legacy of the ACLU

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In a recent article on HollywoodReporter.com, Dennis Parker, director of the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) discussed the new movie Loving based on the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which made laws restricting interracial marriage illegal.

The article provides a summary of Mildred and Richard Lovings story,

In 1958, the Lovings were legally married in Washington, D.C., but shortly after their union, the couple moved to Virginia, where their marriage was in violation of the state’s anti-miscegenation law. The newlyweds were arrested and subsequently banished from the state until, after years of exile, Mildred Loving entreated U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy to legalize her marriage in her home state. Kennedy then referred Loving’s case to the ACLU, which supplied the legal resources to represent the couple before the Supreme Court.

The ACLU’s Parker is quoted in the article expressing his thoughts on the continuing relevance of the Loving case,

“[Loving v. Virginia] is a good example of the way an individual case has an impact that goes far beyond just the issue or the people who are involved in the case,” Parker says. “When Time and Life did the photographic essay on their lives, there were people who could look at it and say, ‘Maybe they are not that different from me,’ and ‘Maybe their marriage does not represent a threat to society in the way I thought before.’

Read the full article and watch the Loving trailer here.

To learn more about how the ACLU has been defending civil liberties and human rights check out the latest archive in the Making of Modern Law series, American Civil Liberties Papers, 1912-1990.



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