During the Black History month, the US and the world experienced the landmark of the Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia (1967) that affirmed anti-miscegenation laws which a regulation was prohibiting interracial marriages to be unconstitutional 1 . According to the Court, the prohibitions and punishment directed to the marriage were explicitly founded on racial qualifications hence implying that it greatly violated the law on equality in terms of protection in addition to the due process clause as outlined in the Fourteenth Amendment. The couples in this case Mildred and Richard Loving had just arrived at their county, Virginia as newly married couples after taking their marriage vows in Washington, D.C. the two were enthusiastic to start a new life; however, a huge obstruction emerged on their matrimonial ecstasy. It was around 1958 a time when Virginian was among the 16 states that strictly prohibited and punished any form of interracial marriages. The racial issue emerged between the couple where Mildred was racial background was African America, while Richard, on the other hand, was from a Caucasian origin. For several months into the couple’s marriage, the two got indicted by a grand jury. The two found guilty of breaking the law and were given one-year imprisonment. The trial court judge decided to have the verdict suspended provided that the couples would immediately depart from the county for 25 years. He went further to state that, the God had created different types of ethnics and races and then located into various distinct parts of the world; therefore, it implied that by dividing people in the line of their races meant that He did not wish that different races should mix. The two opted to move to Washington, D.C. and then filed an appeal of their conviction because Virginia law, The Racial Integrity Law of 1924 , had significantly desecrated these couple's constitutional rights to enjoy equal legal protection as outlined under the Fourteenth Amendment 2 .
The case became the global center of attention and the Supreme Court took the time and judged the case collectively overturning the imprisonment sentence that was delivered to the couples and then strikes down this legal provision. For the Supreme Court to support its judgment, it stated that restricting individual's freedom to marry the person they love based on their racial background substantially goes against the primary connotation of protection Equality Act. Further, the Supreme Court found that the law of Virginia had dispossessed these couples their freedom with no clear due process of law being followed. It is worth noting that an individual’s freedom to get married or to marry has been recognized as a personal right critical to an organized quest for contentment by all free people. Therefore, for the court to deny an individual this form of fundamental freedom based on the racial classification is wrong since it will amount to depriving the person liberty with following any due process as outlined in the law. The new couples were allowed to marry and after the court ruled in their favor.
Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.
How the case affected the American (Afterword)
It is evident that the case presented a complex constitutional question that has never emerged in the court whether the Virginia law to prohibit marriage between individual of different racial background violated the provision of equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The prohibition of their matrimony was explicitly founded on their race 3 . It can be argued that the provision of the Virginia law does not stand consistently with the Fourteenth Amendment. The statutes under which the Loving got punished are part of the all-inclusive constitutional provision that was intended at preventing any form of racial marriage. This case entirely changed the American landscape because it brought with it an end to what was considered as a different legally sanctioned way of life in the US. The case impacted the US history in some ways including:
First, Loving v. Virginia gave the US its first-ever black president in history. It is clear the US law had segregated the Black American such that they were not allowed to get married to the white; therefore, it was almost too impossible to imagine having a black president. The Loving case brought equality among all races in the US to extend that the black could also run for the presidency. Barack Obama former President of US was born in the year 1961, and this Loving case was decided in the year 1967 however, the two were married in 1958 in Washington, D.C. The couples got arrested when returning to their native Virginia for defying the anti-miscegenation statute of the country. They were then sentenced to one-year imprisonment or to leave their home state which set the basement for their landmark Supreme Court case. Therefore, in doing so, it became possible for various families including Obama’s that comprised of black Africana father and white American mother to exist legally in one of the states nearest to the city that Obama and his family called home. Therefore, the case led to the recognition of the Black Americans giving them an equal political freedom in the country.
Loving v. Virginia case further drove the gay-marriage debate in the US. There are many instances throughout the US courts where the Loving case has frequently been cited by the proponents of the gay marriage as primary substantive legal arguments to legalize same-sex marriage in America 4 . Recently, there have been increased cases related to gay marriages than has ever been experienced before. They are now in better position to fight for their right to marry as it was accorded to the loving despite their racial differences. This changed the US Constitution where it created room to allow gays to marry and exercise their rights and freedom. It has further been argued that the timing of the Loving anniversary hits some people as fate with the ruling by the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage expected at any time. Therefore, arguably, the Loving v. Virginia case resulted in the recognition of same-sex marriage in the US and the same has been reported to have spread in various states across the world. The success of same-sex marriage became successful where the proponents quoted the Loving case to support their argument in courts.
Additionally, the Loving v. Virginia court case significantly fueled the rise of the multicultural families. The multicultural families have increased throughout the US and are constitutionally recognized. Currently, it can be seen that multiracial Americans such as President Obama and Ben Jealous constitutes one of the most rapidly growing population in the state as a result of the higher rates of interracial marriages that have been experienced recently 5 . Research has established that today, the figure of marriages comprising of individuals from several races has risen significantly from about 3.2 percent of US marriages around 1980 to approximately 8.4 percent. These populations have grown extensively such that they have the stronger impact on the policies of the US since they directly influence the direction of the policy makers.
Studies have further pointed out that Loving v. Virginia case substantially changed the electoral map. Based on an article by New York Times, the mixed-race families in the modern days are significantly changing the racial in addition to the community makeup of states with individual states such as Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee experiencing about 80 percent increase in the number of mixed-race families. Additionally, North Carolina has further been reported to experience about 50 percent increase in the mixed race 6 . Evidently, the changing demographics of the recent decades have had severe ramification at the ballot box. In the year 2008, Barack Obama became the first ever Democrat to carry North Carolina state to a presidential election after Jimmy Carter in the year 1976. Further, around 2009, Philadelphia a town where the murder of three civil rights employees in 1964 marked a strategic turning point within the country’s civil rights movement, elected their first black major, James Young.
The case also changed the census in the US as one of the testaments to the massive growth of the multiracial families in the US, in 2000, the census permitted respondents to select additional box for the racial identification. This further enhanced individual rights during the census. Before the Loving v. Virginia case, it was difficult for people to reveal their racial background for fear of being segregated or discriminated. However, after the case, people have been equal rights, and the traditional aspect of racial discrimination has lost its meaning. The individual is now able to come out openly during census to real their race and ethnicity. 7
In conclusion, despite the fact that Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in the case of Loving v. Virginia was unanimous it brought with massive changes in the US constitution. The two were found guilty for going against the law and given a year of imprisonment. The trial court judge later gave them an opportunity by dropping all their charges if the couples would move out of the county for 25 years. Based on the Supreme Court the prohibitions and punishment directed to the married couples were explicitly founded on racial qualifications hence implying that it greatly went against the provision of equal protection clause as outlined in the Fourteenth Amendment. The case entirely changed the American landscape because it brought with it an end to the unequal legally sanctioned way of life in the US.
Newbeck, Phyl. Virginia Hasn't Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving . SIU Press, 2005.
(KIC document) (Ethnic News watch)
1 Newbeck, Phyl. Virginia Hasn't Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving . SIU Press, 2005.
2 Newbeck, Phyl. Virginia Hasn't Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving . SIU Press, 2005.
3 Newbeck, Phyl. Virginia Hasn't Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving . SIU Press, 2005.
4 Newbeck, Phyl. Virginia Hasn't Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving . SIU Press, 2005.
5 Newbeck, Phyl. Virginia Hasn't Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving . SIU Press, 2005.
6 Newbeck, Phyl. Virginia Hasn't Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving . SIU Press, 2005.
7 Newbeck, Phyl. Virginia Hasn't Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving . SIU Press, 2005.