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Loving vs. Virginia and Same-Sex Marriage

How Loving vs. Virginia Applies to Same-Sex Marriage


The rationale used by religious and political leaders in an attempt to ban same-sex marriage in the United States is being compared to the arguments used to support discrimination laws in the landmark civil rights case Loving vs. Virginia.

What was Loving v. Virginia?

In 1967 Mr. and Mrs. Richard P. Loving , an interracial couple that married in Washington D.C., were arrested when they returned home to Virginia under the anti-miscegenation law which prohibited interracial marriages. They were jailed, but later released after promising not to reside in the State of Virginia for 25 years. After unsuccessfully challenging the ruling in the Virginia courts, the Lovings celebrated a landmark victory during an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled the anti-miscegenation law unconstitutional. Unfortunately, anti-miscegenation laws still exist in some southern U.S. states.

What was the basis for the law against interracial couples?

Prior to the civil-rights movement, religious activists and politicians argued that God made the races separate for a reason and therefore they were not meant be mixed.

How does the Loving vs. Virginia brief apply to same-sex marriage today?

Gay rights activists argue that the rationale used by anti-gay marriage religious leaders is the same as the arguments used to support the discriminatory anti-miscegenation laws. Modern day religious and political leaders cite the union between men as ungodly and unnatural, much the same as the 1967 argument against interracial couples.

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