It’s National Loving Day. The title of this day has two meanings. It is about love, and about a couple with the last name of Loving. It is an annual celebration that commemorates the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving vs. Virginia.  That decision struck down all anti-miscegenation laws, that banned inter-racial marriage, remaining in sixteen U.S. states citing “There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause.”

I had no idea that inter-racial marriage had ever been illegal. I guess I’m not as well versed as I thought. And 1967 wasn’t so long ago, actually during my life-time. I don’t know why they didn’t use a picture of the actual couple that fought the fight. I will show you who they were.

lovingsRichard and Mildred Loving

As a young Air Force wife in the early 1970’s, knowing bi-racial couples was common especially when we lived in England. We didn’t think any thing of it. Maybe it was because we were young and the decade of free-love had just happened. I’m not sure the actual reason, but I am sure we thought they were brave and maybe a little “far-out” as the term went back then.

I also remember there being more parental disapproval for dating an opposing religion. My mother taught us that people were people. You liked them because of their merits, and avoided them for the same. Color was not an issue in my house. I’m glad of that thought process, though it did leave me at a disadvantage when it came to understanding why other parents didn’t think the same way. I realize now, my Mom was “hip”.

On a recent trip to The French Quarter in New Orleans, one of the main things I noticed was people were people. There was no apparent concern what race, sexual gender or back-ground anyone was. They were just people. It was a very freeing feeling, one I wished had carried back to western New York state where I live.

As you go about your day give some thought to love; what it means, why you love the people you do, and how you demonstrate it to others. Then add in all the people of different ethnicity who you know and be thankful for Richard and Mildred Loving, that we can choose to love who we want without ever thinking about whether it is legal or not.