“I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others.”
Early on the morning of July 15, 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving awoke in their bed with three flashlights shining in their eyes. A voice behind the lights demanded, "What are you doing in bed with this lady?"
"I am his wife," Mildred answered. Richard pointed to their five week old Washington DC marriage license hanging on the wall.
The marriage license did not impress Sheriff R. Garnett Brooks. "That’s no good here," he informed the couple. The Caroline County sheriff, along with two deputies, who had entered the house through an unlocked door at 2:00 a.m., arrested Richard and Mildred Loving. The lawmen charged the couple with violating Virginia’s law prohibiting interracial marriage, Richard was white and Mildred was "colored."
The arrest and conviction of the young couple…Richard, 24 and Mildred, 18…is similar to the arrest four years earlier, of civil rights heroine, Rosa Parks. Whereas Rosa Parks refused to obey Montgomery’s ordinance requiring colored people to sit in the rear of city buses, Richard and Mildred Loving refused to obey Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law, prohibiting marriage between individuals classified as being of different races. Writing about the case in Emerge magazine, Victoria Valentine says the Lovings "didn’t start to make history, they just wished to live as husband and wife."