Trailblazing Relationships That Helped To Change The Taboo Against Interracial Marriage

In 1967, the US Supreme Court finally ruled that bans on interracial relationships were unconstitutional via a decision made in the landmark Loving v. Virgina case. Up until then, the law had been left up to individual states, and at the height of Jim Crow and Civil Rights, it was a fraught subject. Interracial marriage in the US was illegal in nearly every state at some point — only nine states never passed laws banning it — and couples could be thrown in jail simply for living together.

Whites feared that "race mixing" would weaken the white race, and they used the government to terrorize interracial couples. Just like Supreme Court cases about abortion and cases about guns, it would take action from the highest court in the land to challenge the bigotry against interracial relationships. In

The decision in Loving v. Virginia was about more than laws about interracial marriage — it was about thousands of couples fighting for their very existence. Loving v. Virginia changed the law — but it didn't happen in a vacuum. Thousands of couples before and after Mildred and Richard Loving fought for love and sometimes put their lives at risk to do so. Sadly, the fight isn't over: in 2000, 41% of Alabama voters were in favor of maintaining the state's illegal ban on interracial marriages, and a 2011 poll found that a plurality of Mississippi Republicans wanted to bring back the ban on interracial marriage.