Loving v. Virginia
Before Loving v. Virginia was decided, it was illegal in certain parts of the United States for interracial couples to marry. Mildred Loving, who was of African and Native American descent, and her husband, Richard, who was white, were Virginia residents who married in Washington, D.C., in June 1958. When they returned to Virginia, they were charged with violating the commonwealth’s Racial Integrity Act, a law that banned white people from marrying non-whites. They were convicted and sentenced to a year in prison, but their sentence was suspended for 25 years, so long as they left Virginia. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in 1967 overturned their conviction and invalidated anti-miscegenation statutes across the country.