Gay marriage’s real pioneers
They were just two young people in love, so they got hitched and started a family. But in the eyes of the law, they were cohabitating "against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." They were, in the words of Judge Leon M. Bazile, "guilty of a most serious crime." Until they took their fight for the right to live as a legally married couple all the way to the Supreme Court.
The landmark 1967 decision in favor of the white Richard and his African-American and Rappahannock spouse Mildred Loving – a ruling that struck down the prohibition against interracial marriage in America – has been much referenced in recent days, as the Supreme Court once again grapples with the issue of marriage equality. On Tuesday, attorney Ted Olson told the justices, "The label 'marriage' means something … You could have said in the Loving case, you can't get married, but you can have an interracial union. Everyone would know that was wrong. Marriage has a status, recognition, support."