Loving vs the State of Virginia

The Lovings had an amazing and enduring Love Story.
     When I was growing up, my mother told me and my siblings that all the Lovings in America and throughout the world are related. William E. Loving was my grandfather. When he and my grandmother divorced, he moved back to Virginia.
     I thought my mother was an only child, but W.E. Loving went on to have seven more children, a total of eight.
     I met the youngest of W.E.’s children in the 1990’s. Her husband was doing the Loving genealogy, and they wanted to meet me. So we had a reunion in Lancaster, PA.
     Some years later, I became aware of Loving vs the State Of Virginia, of the profound love story between Mildred and Richard Loving.
     They were first arrested in 1958 for the then crime of interracial marriage, outlawed in Virginia. They exiled to Washington DC  and fought to bring their case to the Supreme Court. They succeeded. And they won.
     This case set a precedent for striking down the Defense Of Marriage Act, or DOMA, making marriage between LGBT couples legal. The ACLU was strategic in winning both cases, bringing both to the Supreme Court.
     I recently became a member of the ACLU. It’s the least I can do, under the present circumstances gripping America. We have many battles to fight, and the ACLU has always been on the right side of history. May they continue to wage peace and speak truth to power, as is their way. May we the people support their efforts.
     Another interesting Loving tidbit: Robert Duvall played my great great grandfather, Oliver Loving,  in the mini-series, Lonesome Dove. Names were changed to protect the not so innocent. Lonesome Dove spiced the characters up. I doubt Oliver Loving was as colorful a character as Augustus McCrae–or was he? Thanks to the creative imagination, I can pretend he was.

7 thoughts on “Loving vs the State of Virginia”

  1. Kate, W.E. moved to Columbus, OH, not Virginia, after the divorce. But the Lovings came from England to Virginia very early, like the 1640s, landing here in Hampton Roads, then moving on to what’s now the Williamsburg area, where they grew tobacco and no doubt had slaves. Loving vs. Virginia sort of healed that for our family.

  2. Hi Kate, Yes, I was well aware of the Supreme Court decision and the
    link to our family. She emphasized our family heritage clearly to me. But then, from the age of 16 or so, most of my boyfriends were Black. Right now, I have close friends who began the group HONEY in Eugene. Honoring our New Ethnic Youth. I work closely with them in my ongoing civil rights work. While Mom always said she was an only child, she often spoke highly of WE, our wealthy grandfather. There is So much to share about these details.

    1. She hid her disappointment in her father and in their estranged relationship very well, but when you were born, Kate, and she tried to contact him about his new granddaughter, she learned he had died a year before. She cried. The abandonment, I guess, felt final.

    2. In her reality, she was an only child, but could have had much more connection, had she reached out to her half brothers and sisters.

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