40 years of Loving.

I was reading this article in the Chicago Tribune.

Due to copyrights (and length) I won’t put in the entire article but I’ll toss in some high points. A couple (Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter) got married. Moved back home to Virginia and got arrested. Why??? Well, white men and black women don’t get married — at least according to the Virginia laws at the time. In June of 1967 the Supreme Court ruled on Loving vs. Virginia which overturned rules against interracial marriage.

A cultural taboo fades

Since then, there has been an almost fourfold increase in interracial marriages, according to a report released last week by the Council on Contemporary Families, though such unions still make up only 7.5 percent of all married couples.

Hey — on my little teeny court of 14 houses in suburbia, there are 3 interracial marriages. (HORRORS — what ARE we teaching the children??) Of those marriages, there are 9 (count em) 9 half breeds. What *IS* the world coming to?

In 1972, 39 percent of Americans still favored laws banning them. Thirty years later, that figure had shrunk to 10 percent–and even less among young people, according to the report by the council, a non-profit organization based in Chicago.

But in 1967–13 years after Brown vs. Board of Education declared school segregation unconstitutional–interracial marriage was still taboo nationwide and illegal in 27 states. It was in that hostile climate that the Loving case started in rural Caroline County, Va. Mildred Jeter, 18 and black, fell in love with Richard Loving, 24, a white man whom she had known all her life.

“Almighty God created the races, white, black and yellow … and placed them on separate continents, and but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages,” Bazile said from the bench.

Umm — first I totally disagree with the statement, but I’m trying to figure out where that judgement fits with “separation of church and state”???

That same year, the once scandalous debate was prompting discussion everywhere. “Star Trek” aired the first interracial kiss on national TV. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” hit movie theaters, reminding Americans that it was still considered courageous to wed across color lines–even with a groom as elegant as Sidney Poitier.

And when the daughter of Secretary of State Dean Rusk married a black man in 1967, the private decision was considered so politically risky that Time magazine gave it cover treatment.

Politicians daughter??? Marrying the “wrong person”?????

A more diverse country has created more opportunities to meet a melting pot of potential mates, experts say.

Is the country more diverse now than it was in 1967???

Additionally, as couples delay marriage, parents have less influence over the choice of their children’s spouses.

Yeah — my Mother-in-law was sooooooooooo thrilled when Spouse brought me home.

When [Brian Powell] interviewed 1,500 Americans on gay marriage, opponents sounded “eerily similar” to those who once justified laws that banned race mixing, he said.

Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

Sometimes I look at our country, and our world, and think that there are a lot of backwards notions and closed minded people. On a lot of issues we’ve come a long way. On many issues we still have a long way to go. But, I wouldn’t necessarily give up hope.

From the text for the Loving Decision …

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

And, for today I’ll leave you with a quote from on of my favorite philosophers. Fellow by the name of Keith Koebel, a former pastor of mine. From a private conversation circa 1987

I’m only closed-minded about closed-minded people.
Ain’t it the truth Keith, ain’t it the truth.

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