Marker honors interracial couple who changed law

Although interracial marriage is legal now across the USA, the two say they still face discrimination as a biracial couple.

Mildred, who was of African American and Native American descent, and Richard, who was white, Wednesday in 1958 in Washington D.C., because interracial marriage was illegal in their native rural Virginia, as well as 15 other Southern U.S. states.

The Supreme Court's unanimous decision struck down the Virginia law and similar statutes in roughly one-third of the states. While adults ages 65 and older and those with a high school diploma or less education are more likely to oppose having a close relative marrying someone of a different race, Americans overall are more open to the idea, according to a recent Pew Research Center report.

Celebrations are taking place in communities throughout the country.

November 4, 1963: The Lovings' ACLU lawyers ask the trial court to vacate the Lovings' conviction. "I definitely don't rent to mixed couples, '" Farrell said.

In 1974, Joseph and Martha Rossignol got married at night in Natchez, Mississippi, on a Mississippi River bluff after local officials tried to stop them.

But whatever became of the couple who changed the face of marriage in America? While Asian and Latino newlyweds are the most likely to marry outside of their racial groups, there have been rapid increases in the share of black and white newlyweds with spouses of different races since 1980. "It's just us here". "And if getting married to who you want isn't the pursuit of happiness, I don't know what is".

Interracial couples can now be seen in books, television shows, movies and commercials. There' was a movement to have President Barack Obama make it one, but that never came to pass. Public acceptance is growing, said Kara and William Bundy, who have been married since 1994 and live in Bethesda, Maryland.

"He told me to go and check on them and if they are (married), arrest them", said Brooks, who insists the case wasn't about race but about illegal cohabitation.

Marshall once bluntly described his legal philosophy in this way: "You do what you think is right and let the law catch up", a statement which his conservative detractors argued was a sign of his embrace of judicial activism, but which was in reality a simple recognition that society often moves a few steps ahead of precedent. Warren said they were deprived by law "of liberty without due process of law in violation of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution.

As they head towards their 10th wedding anniversary next year, Angela and D.J. Ross say they're focused on providing a safe home for their family among the rolling, green hills outside of Roanoke, Va. Angela homeschools their two youngest daughters, Marianna and Jordis, in their garden and living room, where the windows overlook cows and horses grazing on farmland.

Jesse J. Holland covers race and ethnicity for The Associated Press in Washington.

  • Leroy Wright